Embroideries

Marjane Satrapi, 1969-

Book - 2005

A collection of stories and anecdotes, told in the form of a graphic novel, reveals the love and sex lives of a group of women as revealed during an afternoon of conversation and tea-drinking.

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BIOGRAPHY/Satrapi, Marjane
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Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels
Biographical comics
Published
New York : Pantheon Books 2005.
Edition
First American paperback edition
Language
English
French
Item Description
"Memoir"--Back cover.
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 20 cm
ISBN
0375423052
9780375423055
9780375714672
0375714677
Main Author
Marjane Satrapi, 1969- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Satrapi follows her acclaimed youth memoirs Persepolis (2003) and Persepolis 2 [BKL Ag 04] with some tales her grandmother, mother, aunts, and their bosom friends told her about sex and men--stories that are frank, funny, occasionally sad, and utterly credible. Thrice-married Grandma recalls the friend who took counsel on how to convince her husband she was still a virgin--with hilarious, wince-inducing results. Another woman confides that, despite her children (all daughters), "I've never seen or touched anything"--male, that is. Arranged marriages, a potion to bind a lover, cosmetic surgery, "embroidery"--by which is meant another means of "restoring" virginity--and more are revealed, assessed, and resolved, all within the context of a women-only tea-bibbing circle in which young Marji is cook (not brewer, she explains), decanter, and enthralled listener. In line with the book's aura of abandoned constraints, Satrapi dispenses with panel frames; she also elides most background detail; and those choices make the book less graphic-novelish than cartoonish a la, say, Jules Feiffer. The sparkling verbal content, however, triumphs. ((Reviewed April 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

"To speak behind others' backs is the ventilator of the heart": a sentiment surely shared by many people the world over but that acquires more urgency for women living under repression. With those words, Satrapi's formidable grandmother opens the door on an evening of gossip, confession, laughter, and tears among female friends and family in Iran. Grandma tells the story of a friend's botched attempt to pretend on her wedding night that she was still a virgin, another woman tells a story of cosmetic surgery with a hilarious punch line, and many of the women share stories of how they and their friends have suffered at the hands of husbands and lovers. Discussions of sex are frank and explicit and laced with high humor. As in her immensely acclaimed Persepolis, Satrapi's simple black-and-white cartooning style is tremendously effective, expertly portraying emotional nuances with just a few lines. While Persepolis had wide appeal to both genders, this book is likely to find a more predominately female audience; highly recommended for all adult collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/04.] Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Satrapi departs from Persepolis to depict a group of women sitting around talking about men. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This slight follow-up to Satrapi's acclaimed Persepolis books explores the lives of Iranian women young and old. The book begins with Satrapi arriving for afternoon tea at her grandmother's house. There, her mother, aunt and their group of friends tell stories about their lives as women, and, more specifically, the men they've lived with and through. One woman tells a story about advising a friend on how to fake her virginity, a scheme that goes comically wrong. Another tells of escaping her life as a teenage bride of an army general. Satrapi's mother tells an anecdote of the author as a child; still others spin yarns of their sometimes glamorous, sometimes difficult, lives in Iran. The tales themselves are entertaining, though the folksiness and common themes of regret and elation feel familiar. Satrapi's artwork does nothing to elevate her source material; her straightforward b&w drawings simply illustrate the stories, rather than elucidating or adding meaning to them. Characters are hard to distinguish from each other, and Satrapi's depictions of gestures and expressions are severely limited, hampering any attempt at emotional resonance. This work, while charming at times, feels like an afterthought compared to Satrapi's more distinguished work on Persepolis and its sequel. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A collection of stories and anecdotes, told in the form of a graphic novel, reveals the love and sex lives of a group of women as revealed during an afternoon of conversation and tea-drinking in which the author's grandmother, mother, eccentric aunt, and friends share their thoughts on sex, love, and the peculiarities of Iranian men. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A collection of stories and anecdotes, told in the form of a graphic novel, reveals the love and sex lives of a group of women as revealed during an afternoon of conversation and tea-drinking.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From the best-selling author of Persepolis comes this 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.This introduction to the private lives of some women, whose life stories and lovers, will strike us as at once deeply familiar and profoundly different from our own, it is sure to bring smiles of recognition to the faces of women everywhere - and to teach us all a thing or two.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

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.