It Won't Always Be Like This: A Graphic Memoir (Paperback)
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“What a joy it is to read Malaka Gharib’s It Won’t Always Be Like This, to have your heart expertly broken and put back together within the space of a few panels, to have your wonder in the world restored by her electric mind.”—Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
It’s hard enough to figure out boys, beauty, and being cool when you’re young, but even harder when you’re in a country where you don’t understand the language, culture, or social norms.
Nine-year-old Malaka Gharib arrives in Egypt for her annual summer vacation abroad and assumes it'll be just like every other vacation she's spent at her dad's place in Cairo. But her father shares news that changes everything: He has remarried. Over the next fifteen years, as she visits her father's growing family summer after summer, Malaka must reevaluate her place in his life. All that on top of maintaining her coolness!
Malaka doesn't feel like she fits in when she visits her dad--she sticks out in Egypt and doesn't look anything like her fair-haired half siblings. But she adapts. She learns that Nirvana isn't as cool as Nancy Ajram, that there's nothing better than a Fanta and a melon-mint hookah, and that her new stepmother, Hala, isn't so different from Malaka herself.
It Won’t Always Be Like This is a touching time capsule of Gharib’s childhood memories—each summer a fleeting moment in time—and a powerful reflection on identity, relationships, values, family, and what happens when it all collides.
“This is the book that’s been missing from my bookshelf. Gharib’s writing and illustrations made me laugh and cry and transported me back to some of the best days of my life in Egypt. This unforgettable graphic memoir is written from the heart.”—Aya Khalil, author of The Arabic Quilt
“Intimate and wide-open, It Won’t Always Be Like This is a coming-of-age comic imbued with the wisdom of a mature and powerful mind. Gharib is the real deal.”—Kristen Radtke, author of Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness
“Malaka Gharib recounts her teenage memories with an open heart and an eye for detail. It Won’t Always Be Like This is her best work yet. I wish everyone could write (and draw) about their lives with this much honesty, specificity, and warmth.”—Adrian Tomine, author of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist
“Gharib’s drawings are freehanded and energetic, with brightly detailed marketplaces, beach scenes, and cityscapes, peppered with excerpts from Gharib’s actual adolescent diaries. This work will resonate with any comics memoir fan who felt like a fish out of water growing up, and promises teen crossover appeal.”—Publishers Weekly