29 April 2010

Review: Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

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.

Embroideries at Powell's
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Published by Pantheon Books, 2005
ISBN-13: 9780375714672
Challenges: Graphic Novels, Graphic Novel Mini-Challenge, Women Unbound, Buy One and Read, 100+
YTD: 37
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Rating: A


Sandy Nawrot 4/29/10, 7:13 AM  

This is awesome...I'll add it to my list of graphic novels I can read for my challenge!

Heather 4/29/10, 8:19 AM  

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I really love Satrapi's work. I love that not only is she giving me a glimpse of her life, her family and another culture, she shows just how similar we all are, despite the cultural differences. And she does it with great talent, style and humor. This is one of my favorite graphic novels.

Meghan 4/29/10, 8:53 AM  

I still haven't read any more by Satrapi than the first Persepolis! You've just reminded me that I really should.

Amy 4/29/10, 8:58 AM  

This sounds interesting. I've read and loved Persepolis 1 and 2, so this is definitely one I want to read.

Julie P. 4/29/10, 10:28 AM  

I so want to read this one!

Margot 4/29/10, 12:51 PM  

I waiting for this one at the library. There seems to be a big waiting list for it. I'm glad to hear it's worth the wait.

chrisa511 4/29/10, 1:09 PM  

You know...I can't believe I still haven't read this book. I loved Persepolis so good and it's been so long since I read that one! I've heard nothing but good stuff about Embroideries! Must read it!

Anonymous,  4/29/10, 1:24 PM  

This one sounds really fascinating. I just put it on my hold list at my library.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 4/29/10, 2:38 PM  

ooh, I want to read this! I haven't read many graphic novels, but PERSEPOLIS was one of those few. I may check my library (sounds like I'll go a on a waitlist)

Jenny 4/29/10, 4:02 PM  

I didn't read this because I didn't care for her other standalone book - Chicken with Plums, I think it was called? But it sounds great! I will have to read it after all!

JoAnn 4/29/10, 5:25 PM  

This sounds great! I've only read a handful of graphic novels, but am adding this to my list.

Anonymous,  4/29/10, 6:02 PM  

I didn't realize what it was about, either, but it sounds great! I loved Persepolis.

Jenners 4/29/10, 8:26 PM  

This sounds different ... and in a good way.

Violet 4/29/10, 11:11 PM  

This book does sound awesome, I have Persepolis by Satrapi and I can't wait to read it.

So glad you liked this one.

Anonymous,  5/1/10, 8:31 AM  

This book sounds really great. I also loved persepolis and am currently reading Sartrapi´s Chicken with Plums.

christina 5/1/10, 9:31 AM  

I'm even more excited about (eventually) reading this one after your review!

Jen - Devourer of Books 5/2/10, 10:30 AM  

I read the first Persepolis book and loved it. This one sounds great and wasn't even on my radar before you mentioned it, so thanks!

Athira 5/2/10, 6:42 PM  

I'm so glad you loved this! I really love the way Marjane Satrapi gets the harsh realities across without making it tragic or even harsh. It's a quality I appreciate so much - how to smile even when you are sad, how to joke when things are falling apart and so on.

Jen at Introverted Reader 5/3/10, 8:25 AM  

Thanks for the great review! I've read Persepolis 1&2 and enjoyed them, so now this is going on my list.

J.T. Oldfield 5/4/10, 5:46 PM  

I just picked this up and will read it soon!

S. Krishna 5/5/10, 4:58 PM  

This book sounds incredible, thanks so much for letting me know what it's about! I would have read it just based on how much I liked Persepolis, but it just sounds great.

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