A Graphic Memoir of Family, Community, and the Fight for Environmental Justice
by Eddie Ahn
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Pub Date 16 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2024
Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press, Ten Speed Graphic
Born in Texas to Korean immigrants, Eddie grew up working at his family’s store with the weighty expectations that their sacrifices would be paid off when he achieved the “American Dream.” Years later after moving to San Francisco and earning a coveted law degree, he then does the unthinkable: he rejects a lucrative legal career to enter the nonprofit world.
In carving his own path, Eddie defies his family’s notions of economic success, igniting a struggle between family expectations, professional goals, and dreams of community. As an environmental justice attorney, he confronts the most immediate issues the country is facing today, from the devastating effects of Californian wildfires to economic inequality, all while combatting burnout and racial prejudice. In coming fully into his own, Eddie also reaches a hand back to his parents, showing them the value of a life of service rather than one spent only seeking monetary wealth.
Weaving together humorous anecdotes with moments of victory and hope, this powerful, deeply contemplative full-color graphic novel explores the relationship between immigration and activism, opportunity and obligation, and familial duty and community service.
"Eddie Ahn is a Korean-American everyman who works to change the world, and Advocate is his gorgeous testament—a pristinely drawn account of public service and filial piety and the quiet pains of doing good." —Ed Park, author of Same Bed Different Dreams
"At turns enlightening and inspiring, and sumptuously illustrated all throughout." —Ezra Claytan Daniels, author of Upgrade Soul and BTTM FDRS
“Advocate weaves a complex story with poignant art. Ahn's work is a beautiful glimpse into nonprofit work in the Bay Area”. —Laura Gao, author of Messy Roots
“Advocate takes you on a journey through the nonprofit world that is illuminating and informative while being deeply felt, personal, and empathetic. Ahn’s passion for building community comes through in his art, and will make you want to be a better person.” —Kathy MacLeod, author of Continental Drifter
“Eddie Ahn's powerful debut graphic memoir is a stunningly illustrated, moving portrait of the son of Korean immigrants. Ahn gives us an intimate view of his choice to go against his parents' wishes and pursue a rewarding, if low-paid career in advocacy. He shares the joys of this work alongside the exhaustion that comes with living on the brink of poverty. But Ahn's love for his community is shown in every gorgeous panel, from the backdrop of the city to his one-time diet of burritos--his beautiful drawings are imbued with care, generosity, and enormous talent.” —Margaret Kimball, author of And Now I Spill the Family Secrets