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The Arab of the Future vol. 1 (L’Arabe du futur t. 1)



Original Language: French | 180 pp. | May 2014

2 Seas Represents: World Translation Rights.

Rights Sold: Brazil (Intrinseca, 2-book deal, at auction), Catalan (Salamandra, 3-book deal, at auction), Italy (Rizzoli-Lizard, at auction), Germany (Knaus/Randomhouse, at auction, volumes 2 & 3 as 2-book deal, later deal for vols 4 & 5), Korea (Humanist, at auction), Norway (Minuskel), Poland (Kultura Gniewu, at auction), Portugal (LeYa), The Netherlands (De Geus, volume 1 at auction, volumes 2 and 3 as 2-book deal), Spain (Salamandra, 3-book deal, at auction), Denmark (Cobolt, 3-book deal), Sweden (Cobolt, 3-book deal, at auction), Finland (WSOY, 2-book deal, at auction), USA (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, pre-empt, 3-book deal), UK (Two Roads, 3-book deal), Croatia (Fibra, 3-book deal), Slovenia (Literatura), Czech Republic (Baobab Books, 2-book deal), Russia (Boom Kniga), Romania (Editura Art), Serbia (Systems comics, 4-book deal).

Awarded the Fauve d’Or Prize for Best Album of the Year at the Angoulême International Comics Festival + the RTL Prize for Best Comic Strip Book of the Year + the LA Times Book Prize for Graphic Novel/Comics!!

Full English translation available.

Over 470,000 copies sold.

Discover a selection of the raving reviews here!

Somehow, the narrative is both very funny and very sad, though the fact that this book even exists shows that a boy’s artistic gifts were finally permitted to flourish. […] Subtly written and deftly illustrated, with psychological incisiveness and humor. —Kirkus *Starred Review*

Despite his father’s determination to integrate his son into Arab society, little Sattouf—with his long blonde hair—never fully fits in, and this report reads like the curious pondering of an alien from another world. Caught between his parents, Sattouf makes the best of his situation by becoming a master observer and interpreter, his clean, cartoonish art making a social and personal document of wit and understanding. —Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

This stunning memoir, reminiscent of a male Persepolis, was an award-winning bestseller when published in France. Sattouf gives a powerfully detailed child’s-eye view of the cultural conflict of our times. —Publishers Weekly

Not since Persepolis has a comic book seemed so important, or been so acclaimed… It has an authenticity with which no expert or talking head could ever hope to compete. – Observer

Excellent… An authentic, emotionally honest memoir and a useful background reading for present events. – Guardian

Engrossing. – New York Times

An object of consensual rapture. – New Yorker

One of the greatest cartoonists of his generation. – Le Monde

It’ll have you laughing to the point of tears. – Haaretz

A convincing combination of wit and depth. – Frankfurter Allgemeine

Brilliant, sharp and surprising. – Repubblica

Riad Sattouf’s poignant memoir is the record of a single, unique life, but it’s one of those ‘single windows’ through which the world is made newly visible. It’s worth a shelf full of books about identity politics, history or political science. – Hari Kunzru

First I devoured it. Then I started reading and looking at it slowly. Because The Arab of the Future is beautifully written and overflowing with details – De Correspondent

Exactly the way a child experiences the world and just the way memory works. Through this child’s eyes the social and political situation in Syria and Libya are sketched, but not judged. It offers a new insight into the origin of a problem we all know about since the Arab Spring – De Correspondent

Sattouf tells his sometimes bewildering story in a very concise manner and does not give any judgements. He shows what is happening, lets his history speak for itself, and it is up to the reader to form his or her opinion. With this book Sattouf has created his own Persepolis, without question (****) – De Standaard

View our presentation of Vol. 2 here

5- VOLUME GRAPHIC NOVEL SERIES – 180 pp. each – full color – format 170 x 240 mm

In the same vein as Maus by Art Spiegelman and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, The Arab of the Future is an autobiographical and political graphic novel. Raised by a paranoid Syrian father who dreamed of being a dictator, it is with devastating humor and great sensitivity that Riad Sattouf talks about his childhood and the story of his family in the Libya of Mouammar Kadhafi and the Syria of Hafez el Assad. The most ambitious and most accomplished work by Riad Sattouf, The Arab of the Future is long-awaited by the press and the public.

In order to tell his story and that of the Middle East, the author […] signs a graphic novel in the tradition of “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi: for a readership from 7 to 77 years old. Long live the next two volumes!—Elle Oriental

[L’Arabe du futur is] his most personal and certainly his most successful work to date. This work, which the reader devours, recounts his childhood spent between France, Libya and Syria, following his parents’ encounter at the Sorbonne University cafeteria at the very beginning of the 1970s. His mother is originally from Brittany and went to study in Paris. His father is Syrian, born in a small village near Homs, the epicenter of the Syrian revolte since 2011.—Les Inrocks

This family chronicle […] intensely blends smells, colors and flavors. More than a collection of memories, [it is] a sincere testimony on integration, exchange and tolerance.—Le Parisien

Not only does the story have historical and sociological qualities, it is also worth it for its narrative quality. […] L’Arabe du futur confirms its author’s place in the contemporary comic strips genre, among the other major names of his generation (Sfar, Trondheim, Blain, Blutch, Guibert… ).—Le Monde Magazine

Volume 1 (1978-1984):

A childhood in Gaddafi’s Libya and Hafez al-Assad’s Syria.

Born of a Syrian father and a Breton mother, Riad Sattouf initially grows up in Tripoli, Libya, where his father has been appointed as a teacher. Coming from a poor background, passionately interested in politics, and obsessed with pan-Arabism, Abdel-Razak Sattouf raises his son Riad in the cult of the great Arab dictators, symbols of modernity and viril power.

In 1984, the family moves to Syria and joins the Sattouf family cradle, a small village near Homs. While his cousins give him a hard time (it doesn’t help that he is blond), the young Riad discovers the harshness of traditional farmer life. His father has only one idea in mind: his son Riad will go to school in Syria to become an educated and modern Arab, an Arab of the future.


Riad Sattouf has obtained major successes in France with the comic strips Retour au collège, Pascal Brutal, and La vie secrète des jeunes (some of which have been published in Germany, Italy and Spain). He is also a filmmaker: Les beaux gosses, (awarded a César for Best First Film in 2010), and Jacky au royaume des filles, out in France in January 2014.

Successful French artists Marjane Satrapi, Riad Sattouf, Joann Sfar and Christophe Blain all worked or have worked in the same studio.


arabe_german_cover   Sattouf_L'arabe du futur_Finland_WSOY_Summer 2015   Sattouf_L'ARABE DU FUTUR_Norway_Minuskel_September 2015   Sattouf_THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE vol 1_Spanish cover_Salamandra_March2015   Sattouf_Denmark_April2015   Sattouf_The Arab of the Future_Sweden_Cobolt_April 2015   Sattouf_Korea_February2015    Sattouf_THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE_Catalan_Salamandra_March 2015    Sattouf_THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE_Brazil_April 2015    Sattouf_THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE_cover_Italy_Rizzoli Lizard_May 2015    Sattouf_Dutch    Arab of the Future USA cover   K_arabe    Sattouf_THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE_Poland_Kultura Gniewu_February 2016

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Germany (Knaus/Randomhouse), Finland (WSOY), Norway (Minuskel), Spain (Salamandra), Denmark (Cobolt), Sweden (Cobolt), Korea (Humanist), Catalan (Salamandra), Brazil (Intrinseca), Italy (Rizzoli-Lizard), The Netherlands (De Geus), USA (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt), Portugal (LeYa), Poland (Kultura Gniewu), UK (Two Roads), Slovenia (Literatura), Croatia (Fibra), Czech Republic (Baobab)