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.

16 comments:

  1. I love girl talk, there is something so universal in it. :) I haven't read Persepolis yet, but maybe I'll just jump to Embroideries! Oh-I finally read the first volume of Fables! My gushing review will be posted tomorrow-it's so awesome. :)

    And when you commented on my blog, you used your 'millerclasses' name-do you want me to change that?

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  2. You just reminded me that I have been wanting to read this one ever since I read Chicken With Plums. http://stateofdenmark2.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/chicken-with-plums/

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  3. I've been meaning to read Persepolis and even had it checked out from the library but I didn't get to it fast enough. It sounds like I should check this one out as well. Thanks for the review!

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  4. This sounds great. I love the idea of a bunch of women sitting around telling stories like this -- that is as long as it's someone else's family. I really don't want to hear stories like this from my mother or aunts. :)

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  5. I've been dying to read the Persepolis books for ages. Guess this is another one to add to the list. Thanks!

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  6. The Half Price Books in Richardson? We are practically neighbors now. I may have to read this one.

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  7. I loved Persepholis, so I will definitely have to track this down.

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  8. I only learned about Embroideries around the time I read Persepolis, but it's definitely on my wish list. I can see how this one addresses an topic that crosses all borders. This sounds like an entertaining and worthwhile read.

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  9. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one as well! I think especially as this book is about a society of women which people may think are very sheltered it really highlights the commonalities women all over share.

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  10. I love it too, Eva. And a whole book about it! Can't wait to read your review of Fables, and I'm glad to hear you thought it awesome. As for the "millerclasses"...you can leave it. lol I don't think one slip will do me in. Maybe.

    Ms, I want to read Chicken With Plums sooooo bad!

    Samantha, you'll love Persepolis I think. It's a really quick read too.

    LOL, Lisa! Good point. It was delightful listening in on someone else's family.

    Enjoy, DS!

    Kristy, cool!!!! We need to get together to browse sometime. I'm right off of 75 and Arapaho.

    Enjoy, KnittingReader!

    Thanks, LF! This is one I think you'll enjoy.

    Amen, Iliana! It really sheds light on how unsheltered (a word?) these women are among themselves, in their homes.

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  11. haha, yes! This is hilarious. And awesome. I love Satrapi :)

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  12. I've been wanting to give Persepolis a try. I just picked up my first (2) graphic novels at the library last week. We'll see how it goes!

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  13. I must get hold of this too. I loved Persepolis and also have the dvd which is just as great.

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  14. This was the only book I didn't own by her. I am now thinking that when you posted the books you bought at the bookstore the other day it inspired me to check it out of the library!

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  15. This sounds great. I loved Persepolis and have seen this around but wasn't sure what it was about. Thanks for reminding me to get hold of a copy.

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  16. I saw Persepolis when it was made into a movie a year or so ago. It's very similar - all black and white, animated. Very good! I think you'd enjoy it. I am SO jealous of your half price book store!!

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