Translated from the French by Anjali Singh
Original title: Broderies
Non-Fiction/Memoir/Graphic Novel, 2003 (France), 2005 (English translation)
Pantheon Books, hardcover, 132 p.
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.It’s been a few years since I read the Persepolis books and I enjoyed returning to Marjane’s world. Plus, having recently read a couple of non-fiction books about the lives of women in Japan, it was quite interesting to then read this short graphic novel about the lives of women in Iran, and to notice some of the similarities and the obvious differences. Reading this short graphic novel was a little like being a fly on the wall while the women gossiped and shared stories of their own loves and losses and disappointments. The black and white drawings were again in Marjane’s simple, yet vibrant style and my only complaint is that since it’s such a short novel, it was over far too quickly. I would’ve been happy to stay with the women for a while longer and hearing more about their lives.
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 importantly, keep up appearances.
Full of surprises, this introduction to the private lives of some fascinating women, whose life stories and lovers and 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. [From the dust jacket]
Marjane Satrapi Returns: An Interview at Powell's Books
An Interview with Marjane Satrapi at Bookslut
Buy this book at: Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | BookDepository.co.uk | BookDepository.com
My Rating: 4/5
(#48 for 2009, Non-Fiction Five Challenge, Orbis Terrarum Challenge, Graphic Novels Challenge, Lost in Translation Challenge, Herding Cats II Challenge)
Also reviewed at:
A High and Hidden Place: Tales of a Capricious Reader: It was like sitting with your best friends and trying to out-shock each other but also a glimpse into another culture, another life, so familiar and so unfamiliar from my own.
Books of Mee: The art style is simpler than Persepolis in a glance, but it’s entertaining indeed.
Lotus Reads: While the book didn't bore me into a stupor, it did nothing to entertain me either... In the book's favor, I will say that the drawings are creative and vivid and I loved that the author opted for a non-grid layout---it made the book seem more of a novel and less of a cartoon.
things mean a lot: Embroideries is a very quick read, but it’s one that stays with you. It’s more lighthearted than Persepolis, and so it doesn’t quite have the same emotional impact, but it touches important issues all the same.
Tripping Toward Lucidity: What's most apparent in all of Satrapi's work is how universal our human experiences are.
Valentina's Room: I recommend this book wholeheartedly. It's clever, bold, and definitely too damn short!
The Written World: She infuses humour into the telling and brings to life women who have had to deal with things that we can only begin to imagine in the western world. At the same time, though, it is not that different from the way things are here. I think we forget that sometimes, so it was wonderful for Satrapi to humanize the story.
The Zen Leaf: I loved the simplicity of the artwork and style, and the simplicity of the story itself, which was nothing more than conversation... It reminded me of get-togethers with my cousins.
If you've reviewed this title too, let me know and I'll link to it here.
Persepolis and they really did a fabulous job of bringing the comic book to life! Marjane Satrapi was apparently very involved in the production of the film and seeing that the film accurately depicted her story, and it really shows. My husband isn’t a fan of typical animation (superheroes, mystical creatures and whatnot) but I told him it was a different kind of anime so he agreed to watch it with me and he ended up really enjoying it. He commented that they never really heard much about the problems in Iran and the Middle East, in Japan when he was growing up. As an adult now, he’s much more interested in international politics so he found it really quite interesting. Well worth watching! I heard she's now working on a film version of Chicken with Plums. I still need to read that one, but I'll definitely be interested in seeing it once it's out.