Marjane Satrapi
Pantheon, New York, 2005, English
Fiction, Comics and Graphic Novels
ISBN: 9780375714672

From the Publisher. From the best–selling author of Persepolis comes this gloriously entertaining and enlightening look into the sex lives of Iranian women. Embroideries gathers together Marjane’s tough–talking grandmother, stoic mother, glamorous and eccentric aunt and their friends and neighbors for an afternoon of tea drinking and talking. Naturally, the subject turns to love, sex and the vagaries of men.

As the afternoon progresses, these vibrant women share their secrets, their regrets and their often outrageous stories about, among other things, how to fake one’s virginity, how to escape an arranged marriage, how to enjoy the miracles of plastic surgery and how to delight in being a mistress. By turns revealing and hilarious, these are stories about the lengths to which some women will go to find a man, keep a man or, most important, keep up appearances.

Full of surprises, this introduction to the private lives of some fascinating women, whose life stories and lovers will strike us as at once deeply familiar and profoundly different from our own, is sure to bring smiles of recognition to the faces of women everywhere—and to teach us all a thing or two.

On 1 book list
Warren Lehrer

Following in the tradition of Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel/memoir Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (1 and 2) is a coming-of-age story of a girl and her family whose lives are forever affected (but not stopped) by tyrannical, geopolitical events playing out in Iran. Both Spiegeleman’s and Satrapi’s two-volume nonfiction masterworks read like novels. Each transcends comic caricatures by portraying intimate, complex relationships and personal stories against a backdrop of upheaval, war, and living in exile. Those are important, moving, must-reads books. But I really love Satrapi’s follow-up book, Embroideries. It depicts a multi-generational gathering of Iranian women sitting around a table, drinking tea and talking candidly about their lives as women, sex, relationships with men, arranged marriages, faking virginity; sharing all kinds of advice and stories, funny and sad. In Embroideries, Satrapi dispenses with traditional story structure as well as panel frames, allowing the reader to eavesdrop on a layered, “real-time” conversation, and roam more freely within the many embroidered approaches to the page.

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