Monday, March 16, 2009
Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
When I read Marjane Satrapi's fantabulous graphic novels, Persepolis I and II, several years ago and fell in love! Her drawings are deceptively simple, her writing is full of wit and snark. I've wanted to pick up Embroideries for ages but:
1. My library didn't have it, and I'm too lazy to interlibrary loan.
2. My new Richardson library has it, but I don't have a card yet.
3. I couldn't find it at the UBS.
But now I have a way awesome Half-Price Books right around the corner from the condo, and VOILA!!! I found Embroideries waiting patiently for me on the shelves last week. I cracked it open between classes and finished it within an hour.
In this particular graphic novel the women in Satrapi's life sit around and talk about sex. Most people have at least an aunt or a grandmother that appears really nice and sweet on the outside but that secretly talks like a tart in private. Satrapi has many such women in her life and they're not shy about opening up about sex when they're sitting around having tea. Some of their stories were sad--about forced marriages to older, uncaring men or men who simply used them. Others have heartwarming or hilarious stories about faked virginity and having never seen a penis after four children.
What's most apparent in all of Satrapi's work is how universal our human experiences are. Whether the women telling the stories are from the United States, France, or Iran, many of the tales--or at least the sentiments--are the same.