She is also the author of the internationally best-selling and award-winning comic book autobiography in two parts, Persepolis and Persepolis 2. Reading Group Guide 1. Why do you think Satrapi chose a more fluid, casual artistic style for Embroideries than the more formal panels of Persepolis? How does this affect your experience reading Embroideries? Is this book more or less accessible?

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The place: a well-appointed house in Tehran. A formal luncheon party is just coming to an end. After the man of the house has complimented his wife on the food, he and all the other men go off to take naps. Young Marjane is sent off to prepare the samovar, while her mother, her aunt, her grandmother and their friends do the washing-up. Only when the women have retired to the sitting room to enjoy their teas are they ready for the most important business of the day: gossip.

It concerns a young woman named Nahid, who has gone off to say goodbye to her secret lover a few weeks before her arranged marriage and, without quite intending to do so, has lost her virginity. How to conceal her shame? But not all goes to plan. She goes on to explain. But at no point does Marjane Satrapi feel compelled to spell out why she chose to turn this graphic gossipfest into a graphic novella - or how she wants us to respond to it.

It speaks for itself and, to a large degree, to itself, and therein lies its subversive charm. But it is at the same time a daring and brilliantly calculated illumination of a secret space. The graphic novel is a hybrid form that is yet to be harnessed by a clear brand image.

It is haunted by the ghosts of superheroes and generally assumed to be easy reading for sluggish children. Satrapi is one of a handful of writer-artists Art Spiegelman and Joe Sacco being the most famous others who have exploited this misapprehension to go where no marketing department has dared to tread.

That there is no need to have prior knowledge of the events she witnesses at first hand - the fall of the shah, the rise of the ayatollahs, and the Iran-Iraq war - was brought home to me when my and year-old daughters picked up these books in idle curiosity only to shut themselves up in their rooms until they had devoured every page. This may partly be down to the fact that though Satrapi has herself written several books for children Persepolis is technically and therefore thrillingly for adults.

I know that this image is far from the truth. I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists.



Shelves: comedy , women-s , history , graphic-novels , humor , iran , muslim I rarely if ever read books on the subject of sex or marriage, but Embroideries is about much more than these things. Told in beautiful illustrations from the author of the equally incredible Persepolis, I rarely if ever read books on the subject of sex or marriage, but Embroideries is about much more than these things. I get the point that women gossip about a lot of things, every tiny details they know about or we think we know of. I get that grandmothers and women talk a lot of weird women stuff. If this one is meant to be humorous and satirical, I get only two percent of it; I find the rest rather insulting, pointless and I am hugely disappointed with this one.


Tea and adversity

The black and white, undetailed artwork of the Persepolis books looks advanced when compared to Embroideries. This looks rushed, more like a rough draft than a finished product. Embroideries is a wonderful, multi-layered book disguising itself as a sort of Middle East chicklit memoir. Satrapi turns her readers into invisible members of the group, and invites us to enjoy the world of her childhood by putting universal truths about the eternal battle of the sexes into Iranian clothes. What Embroideries does brilliantly is expose the atmosphere of ineffectual confidentiality that hangs around such gatherings.





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