Embroidering with Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi is most famous for her graphic novels Persepolis and Persepolis 2. These books, autobiographical in nature, had wide spread acclaim and were even made into a movie in 2007. They chronicle Satrapi’s lived experiences as a young woman in Iran, throughout the Islamic Revolution. What many do not know is that Marjane Satrapi has another, more recent, publication: Embroideries.
Embroideries is written and illustrated in the same style we love and know from Satrapi’s Persepolis. The sharpie-esque, bold illustrations, combined with the honest and frank dialogue. Her book is funny, sometimes sad, but always honest. And it is Satrapi’s personal authenticity that keeps you turning the pages. Physically, the book is a small one; perhaps reminding you of certain comics you read as a child.
Embroideries tells the stories of the Iranian women in her family. The story centers around the stories the matriarchs of Satrapi’s family tell after the mean disappear for a post-lunch snooze. We are introduced to the various women in the family; her strong grandmother, her resigned mother and her zany aunt, as well as others. As a young woman, our protagonist gets her first glance at the personal lives of the women with whom she surrounds herself.
Over afternoon tea, these women begin telling stories. The stories are about sex, love, and the betrayal of men. It is a rollercoaster of emotions and deeply contenting to be a proverbial fly on the wall in the Satrapi household. We hear stories about how one can fake one’s virginity (at least theoretically, this plan goes hilariously awry!), and how to get out of an arranged marriage you do not want.
There are stories about affairs and plastic surgery. No topic is off limit as these Iranian women have a heart to heart and navigate the issues of womanhood in their current circumstances. These stories, all so deeply personal, are ones you may not personally relate to, but you will find yourself reveling in the emotions you feel as you hear the women recount these happenings.
But let us get one thing clear, this can be a hard book to read at times. The humor that runs through the pages helps, but it is also a deeply personal and emotional portrayal of life as a woman. After an emotional read, you may want to pick up a more light-hearted comic, maybe some old-school Archie. Or give reading a break altogether. Perhaps you will need a little light entertainment of a different kind. In this case, why not try some fun online casino games at https://www.royalvegascasino.com/ to take your mind off the hardships portrayed in this graphic novel.
We have not seen any more recent graphic novels from Satrapi, but as fans we hope that she is secretly working on a new masterpiece and will grace us with some more awe-inspiring stories to read. It is so rarely that we find graphic novels with such glaring honesty and authenticity, and we cannot wait to read whatever Marjane Satrapi produces next!