AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY STORY: As American culture continues to diversify, it’s imperative to boost the voices of those often labeled as “other.” Malaka’s story is that of millions of first-generation Americans. A quarter of America’s population is made up of immigrants and their children, and Malaka’s struggle to understand her place in this country is important to hear for both representation and understanding.
RECOGNIZABLE FORMAT: At 6“ x 9” and 160 pages, I Was Their American Dream is in good company with other graphic memoirs like Persepolis, Fun Home, and Maus. Readers will immediately recognize the paperback book with flaps as an illustrated narrative to cherish.
MEDIA-CONNECTED AUTHOR: As a content producer for NPR’s global health and development blog, Goats and Soda, Malaka is deeply entrenched in global issues and the role our country plays. Her connections at NPR and in the artist community in Washington, D.C.—where she founded the annual art book fair—will increase visibility and engagement with her story.
“Malaka Gharib’s graphic memoir I Was Their American Dream tells the story of her experience as a first-generation American of Filipino and Egyptian descent. Gharib’s red-white-and-blue graphic palette serves as the perfect frame for her journey as she navigates questions of belonging, loyalty, and identity with heartwarming humor and critical wit.”—Kenyon Review
“A heartwarming tribute to immigrant families and their descendants trying to live the American dream.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Malaka Gharib tells the origin story of a person, somebody with hopes and fears and dreams. . . . Malaka looks to the future, to the expansive family that she has built and inherited, across continents and cultures. This memoir is as much a tribute to them as is her own coming of age story.”—Jeff Daughterty, BookTrib
“With a sincere approach, this graphic memoir will bring to mind Persepolis, but it is absolutely on its own quirky wavelength.”—Henry Chamberlain, Comics Grinder
"I Was Their American Dream is a pure and utter delight. With both a deft lightness and a deep poignancy, Malaka Gharib perfectly captures the feeling of growing up—of being a child of immigrants, of being a woman of color, of being thrown in the mix between cultures, of love, of family—with nostalgia, humor, and heart. Her words and illustrations are wittily observed and emotional in equal measure, able to draw a laugh and a tear over the span of a single page. I Was Their American Dream is a portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book."—Jonny Sun, author and illustrator of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too and New York Times best-selling illustrator of Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda
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