Embroideries (Review)

Book cover for "Embroideries" by Marjane Satrapi.Title: Embroideries

Author: Marjane Satrapi

Publication Year: 2005

Pages: 144

Genre: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novel

Source: Purchased from Chapters

From the 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 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.

Just as I have been each time that I’ve read Persepolis, I was impressed yet again by Satrapi’s storytelling ability. In Embroideries, she introduces the reader to a variety of women all in one room together. The reader gets to see not only the individual personalities of these women, but also the ways in which they interact.

The most interesting thing about this book – at least for me – is the intimate look at the love and sex lives of a random grouping of women in a country that most of the world believes (true or not) to be extremely repressed. Yet again, Satrapi flips our expectations on their heads, showing us that Iranian women are just as obsessed with love and sex as Western women: we’re no more different than neighbours from different streets in that regard.

My only real complaint about Embroideries is that it was over too quickly! I really wish that there had been more for me to read.


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