Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

The summary on the back cover:

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 importantly, keep up appearances.

Full of surprises, this introduction to the private lives of some fascinating women, whose life stories and lovers and 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.

I watched Persepolis last year and I really liked it. About two weeks ago, I saw another graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. I don’t know anything about the book but since I like Persepolis, I decided to buy this graphic novel.

This is my first graphic novel apart from Manga.  When I was a kid, I tried reading Marvel Comics and I didn’t like it. Then I discovered European graphic novels such as Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, The Smurf (is this European or American?), etc, I really like those kind of graphic novels. Then I fell deeply in love with Manga (you can call it as Japanese comic but for me, Manga is Japanese Graphic novel because a lot of manga have great materials that are equal to novels). I still love reading manga as much as I love reading novels that have nothing but words throughout hundreds of pages. Reading Embroideries is a new experience for me.

Looking at the artwork in Embroideries, I must say that Manga has a much better artwork.  Embroideries has a child-like drawing and provides no background. At first, I felt a bit odd seeing that kind of artwork but the more I read the more appreciative I became. Simply said, I could live that kind of art work 🙂

The book tells many stories shared by eight women in Iran. Those women were gossiping about their own life or someone they knew, it was mostly about sex. Although the stories are fun to read, hilarious in some parts, but I felt sorry for those women. One woman was forced to marry a 60 year old man when she was still 13. The other has never seen man’s private thing even though she had have 4 children. There was also two women who were cheated by their husbands.

The one that made me laugh so loud is the coffee part…that was really funny. Too bad I can’t say it here because I don’t want to spoil you with it. The part with razor blade was also funny.

Reading this book makes us feel like we are among them, Marjane Satrapi was really good in creating such atmosphere. When I finished reading it, I felt like finish talking to new friends. Although the topic is not something I usually talked about.

I included the book summary because I think that summary already represent the book really well.

Book Details:

Title: Embroideries
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Language: Indonesian (Original lanmguage: French)
Pages: 144 pages
Publisher: Penerbit Gramedia Pustaka

10 thoughts on “Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

    1. I haven’t read Persepolis yet, but I do like the animated movie of that book…that’s why I bought this one.

      Maybe you should try with Embroideries first because it’s only 1 volume, unlike Persepolis.

  1. “how to escape an arranged marriage”
    oh, that is so funny and sad at the same time 😦 We have those arranged marriages down in the problematic Muslim parts of my country.

    1. yes…arrange marriage is often happens in Muslim area. Here in my country, Arabian people allow their sons to marry woman from any race they like, but not same for the daughters, they must marry another Arabian men. I feel sorry for them.

      In Indonesia itself, some still do it but mostly the choose by themselves.

  2. This sounds great. I know what you mean about the drawings though, it’s not that much for the eye but it sounds as if the stories were very interesting.
    Speaking of graphic novels have you ever read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman? I got part I here and am looking forward to reading it.

    1. The stories are very interesting. I have to admit that I might not read the book if it was in a novel form rather than a Graphic novel…but I can imagine you reading it. It has a bittersweet kind of story that deals with daily life.

      Is that the same Sandman I have read before? I didn’t know there is a graphic novel version of it. Looking forward to know what you think of it.

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