The Arab of the Future series, written by Riad Sattouf - former contributor to the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo - will hit UK shelves next year. This, since news has reached us that British Commonwealth rights have been acquired by publisher Two Roads.
The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir (to give it its full name) has already received high-praise from critics in the UK and across the Atlantic, and it's definitely a coup for Two Roads. Already a big hit in France, its "darkly funny" content seems to have gone down a treat, and we really can't wait to get our hands on a copy.
However we, like you, will have to wait until April 17th, which is when the book will materialise in the oddly named 'trade paperback' format typical of comics and graphic novels. What of the story? Well, as the full name suggests, the book tells of Sattouf's own childhood, spent living with his "Syrian pan-Arabist" father in France, Muammar Gaddafi's Libya and Assad's Syria. It's absolutely intriguing to us, and we're already assured the quality is high.
For its part, the New York Times has called the book "a disquieting yet essential read", and Le Monde has said the title secures "Riad Sattouf's place among the greatest cartoonists of his generation" . Two roads is pretty happy to have acquired it as well. This is what Federico Andornino, Assistant Editor at Two Roads's John Murry imprint has to say:
It’s so refreshing to read a book that goes beyond the sensationalistic headlines about the Middle East and focuses on the darkly funny and poignant portrait of a boy who never seems to fit in. A true gem.
Of his work making it to UK bookstores, Sattouf is himself pretty pleased. We'll leave you with his words, and hope that if you pick it up in April you can see why TAotF is so well-regarded.
I am so happy and proud to have The Arab of the Future published in the UK (and beyond) by Two Roads: I simply can’t wait to hear feedback from English readers and share my story with a whole new set of booklovers.