The LA Times Book Festival rolled out over the weekend, and the annual prized were given and in the graphic novel category the winner was Riad Sattouf and The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir published here by Metropolitan Books.
Sattouf beat out some pretty good competition; Sam Alden, Julian Hanshaw, Maggie Thrash and Carol Tyler. The latter was nominated for Soldier’s Heart, her masterful biography of her father and damage done to the “greatest generation,” which I was kinda hoping would win but…stay tuned.
All that said, Sattouf’s book goes to the heart of much of our current turmoil with a deeply personal memoir of his childhood spent in Libya, France and Syria, which he remembers down to tiny details of sight and smell. The book also won the top album prize at Angoulême when it came out, and was a bestseller on the general fiction list in France.
A second volume with even more of Sattouf’s childhood memories came out last summer; hopefully we’ll get it here in the US as well.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.