Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

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.

Title and author of book: Embroderies by Marjane Satrapi

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre? Graphic Novel. Current Affairs.

What led you to pick up this book? I have read her other three books, so figured it was time I got around to this one!

Summarize the plot, but don’t give away the ending! See above...

What did you like most about the book? The style. It is a group of women sitting around discussing what life was like in Iran. Iran has been in the news a lot over the last few years, but it was never about the personal stories. Satrapi gathers a group of Iranian women together to talk about something so simplistic as their sex lives. For Iranian women, though, it is not that simple. 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.

What did you like least? It was too short. I am glad I took this out from the library because it took me no time at all to read it. I actually was sitting in the parking lot waiting for the guy to buy something. He wasn't in there all that long and I think I had it finished and was just sitting there waiting for him to come out.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books? I have read all of her other books. For my thoughts, click on the links. (Remember that this was back in my early days of blogging and the reviews might not be the greatest!) Persepolis 1, Persepolis 2, and Chicken with Plums.

What did you think of the main character? There really isn't a main character. It is just a bunch of women each telling their story, so it is more like a collection of short stories. They also aren't really 'characters' because this is a true story and they are telling about things that really happened to them. I liked all the characters and enjoyed reading their stories.

What about the ending? I have no complaints about the ending. Just, as I said above, it came too soon!

I am glad that I have read all of her books now. It was three years ago that I read the first three, though, so I think I might reread them this year. When I read them before I was still very much a newbie to graphic novels, so my opinions might have changed over time. I do think that everyone should read Satrapi. She is a wealth of information in a world where her country is often being condemned on the news. It is always good to have both sides of the story. I hope that she has a new book out soon!


  1. Oooh, I have this one out from the library right now!!! I think I just may read it! Looks like one you can read all in one setting.

  2. I need to read more of hers. I've read both the Persepolis books but none of the others.

  3. This is one that's come highly recommended to me. I am glad you liked it, Kelly. I read Persepolis last year and loved it.

  4. Oh Kelly, what a fabulous review! I added this to the wish list after Nymeth's review, but have sort of put in on the back burner figuring I should read Persepolis first since I already own it. But now you've got me wanting to check the library right now!

  5. I really need to read another Marjane Satrapi. You've piqued my interest in this one...

  6. Chris: I saw that you had it. I hope you enjoy it!

    Amanda: Persepolis is my favourite, but her other two books have merit, too.

    Wendy: I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to read it!

    Debi: I do recommend you read Persepolis, though. It's a great duology. This book was good, too, but that one is so great!

    Melissa: She's worth it! Hope you enjoy!

  7. It was too short! But other than that, perfect.

  8. I really fancy reading this one as I loved Persepolis. I like the premise for this so will it on my list fo rm ybirthday in a couple of months.

  9. I read both volumes of Persepolis and can't wait to read this one. Persepolis was my first of graphic memoir..


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