When I decided to read Marjane Satrapi's Embroideries, I had no idea what it was about. I chose it simply because I am a fan of the author's Persepolis books.
Satrapi invites us to share an afternoon with several Iranian women as they drink tea and talk about their sexual experiences with lovers and husbands. Although there are many laugh-out-loud moments, the humor is underlain with the realities of what it's like for women who do not have true freedom and independence.
Some were able to escape their arranged marriages to men who were thirty or forty years their senior. Some had the hope of life in West, only to be left with no choice but to return to Iran. One woman managed to have four daughters with her husband but has never seen a man or boy naked. Others discuss the joys and heartache of having a lover who is married.
As three generations of women share their laughter and tears, they also share their love and support for each other. They show that no matter how repressive a culture, women find a means to have at least some control over their destinies. The inherent strength of these women and their ability to cope give hope that changes will continue to be made in Iran and throughout the world for women who are still at the mercies of the men in their lives.
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Published by Pantheon Books, 2005
Challenges: Graphic Novels, Graphic Novel Mini-Challenge, Women Unbound, Buy One and Read, 100+
Source: Bought (see review policy)