At age seven, Farida Fotouhi didn’t know her graphic novel was a metaphor for the atomic bomb her country had dropped on Hiroshima.

“Charcoal Girl” is a book in two parts. The first part is a remarkable graphic novel written by the author at age seven in 1954 Hiroshima, where her father was the first U.S. diplomat after the atomic bomb. The second part was written by the same author in 2014, telling the extraordinary “story behind the story.” Together, the two parts of “Charcoal Girl” demonstrate how the human heart can bridge the chasms created by war, enmity and ethnic differences.

$17.95    $23.95



¥ 1,500

Their family mission: make America and Hiroshima friends again.

Farida Fotouhi’s father was the first U.S. diplomat assigned to Hiroshima after America had destroyed the city with the world’s first atomic bomb. As the only American in her school and her neighborhood, creating graphic novels in her new second language was one way she processed her experiences, struggles and unanswerable questions.

A child imagines the unimaginable.

The first part of this book is her deeply affecting 1954 graphic novel, “Kan-chan the Little Charcoal Girl,” in which she imagines what happens when a destructive force annihilates everything you know. With expressive drawings and vivid language, she takes her high-spirited characters on a journey of hardships met with resilience, humor and courage. (Translated from the Japanese by the author in 2104.)

The story behind the story.

In the second part of the book, written in 2014, the author creates a historical and personal context, revealing the story behind the story, with photos and engaging reflections on her family’s extraordinary life in 1950’s Hiroshima. It’s a story that affirms the power of creativity and love, and poses questions about the atrocity of war, questions we’re still dealing with today.

About the Author

FARIDA FOTOUHI is the daughter of American diplomat Abol Fazl Fotouhi, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Iran and represented the United States in Japan, Brazil, Nigeria, Malawi and Pakistan. Farida speaks English, Japanese Portuguese, Hausa, French and light Spanish. She is the president of Reality2, a branding and creative agency in Los Angeles. In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s she ran Fotouhi Alonso, one of LA’s top independent ad agencies. She lives in LA with her husband Mike Freehling. She is currently working on a full length book about her family’s time in 1950’s Hiroshima.

$17.95    $23.95


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