Friday, 29 April 2016

Review: Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

Title: Embroideries
Written By: Marjane Satrapi
Translated By: Anjali Singh
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Pages: 144
Genres: Graphic Novel


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.
This book was absolutely HILARIOUS, I was practically giggling all the way through. The intimate look at the different stories of the private sex lives, relationships and marriages of Iranian women was just eye opening and utterly fascinating. One of the very first pages illustrates the grandmother's change of personality before and after she has had her morning cup of tea brewed with added burnt opium - it was just so funny. The tone of the book is warm, very supportive and gossipy as everybody has a story to tell about themselves or someone they know.

I felt really inspired by the gumption of some of the women who were narrating their personal experiences. Even though their lives were at times quite restricted, they each had found their own ways of challenging the status quo and changing their situations. There was a great mix of conservative viewpoints versus the modern and western ideas. There were some moments where the story being told was tragic and I had no idea what an 'embroidery' referred to but thanks to this book I now know. Horrifying.

An uplifting and hilarious read, this has become one of my all-time favourites. Highly recommend.

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