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Advocate: A Graphic Memoir of Family, Community, and the Fight for Environmental Justice (Hardcover)

Advocate: A Graphic Memoir of Family, Community, and the Fight for Environmental Justice By Eddie Ahn Cover Image
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A moving graphic memoir following Eddie Ahn, an environmental justice lawyer and activist striving to serve diverse communities in San Francisco amidst environmental catastrophes, an accelerating tide of racial and economic inequality, burnout, and his family’s expectations.


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.

About the Author

Eddie Ahn has been an environmental justice attorney and nonprofit worker for fifteen years. While working as the executive director of Brightline Defense, a San Francisco–based environmental justice nonprofit, he was inducted into the State of California’s Clean Energy Hall of Fame for his work in equity and clean energy. In addition to his nonprofit work, he has served as president of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment as well as a commissioner on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Bay Conservation and Development Commission. He is a self-taught artist who has been recognized as a Cartoonist-in-Residence by the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

Praise For…

“Gorgeously illustrated . . . Ahn’s dual journey as a self-taught artist and fierce advocate of environmental equality for disadvantaged communities forms the foundation of his insightful new book.”—Zack Ruskin, San Francisco Chronicle

“From a childhood gleaning his Korean family’s history to life as a lawyer, community advocate and self-taught artist, Ahn presents his path in sharp, tinted panels.”The New York Times Book Review

“In his courageous debut graphic memoir, Advocate, environmental justice lawyer Eddie Ahn recounts the nonprofit work he has accomplished, as well as his experiences with racism and contending with his immigrant parents’ hopes . . . This memoir is intrepid and revealing about family inheritance and several aspects of social justice: race, money, and the environment.”—Shelf Awareness

“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.”—Margaret Kimball, author of And Now I Spill the Family Secrets

“Humane and sensitive . . . Inspirational reading for progressives seeking to make a difference in the world.”Kirkus Reviews

“Amid his tireless (and humble) advocacy, Ahn also proves himself as an impressive self-taught artist, including winning an art contest to beautify utility boxes throughout San Francisco. His debut memoir, too, is a remarkable achievement, full of clean lines, precise panels, exquisite details, and soft color washes. . . . An essential lesson for all.”—Booklist

“Ahn debuts with a warmhearted homage to community work that also captures the complex pressures on children of immigrants . . . readers who have heeded the call of people over profit will find resonance here.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781984862495
ISBN-10: 1984862499
Publisher: Ten Speed Graphic
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English