Embroideries (Pantheon Books)

Hopefully in 20 years Satrapi will repackage this short story for what it is—the first chapter in the next book of her life story.

Embroideries (Pantheon Books; 144 pgs. B&W; $10.95)

(W/A: Marjane Satrapi)

embroideries.jpgMarjane Satrapi's two-part Persepolis was an eye-opening, emotional knockout. The sometimes painful, but more often darkly humorous, details of the Iranian author's personal coming-of-age—taking her from a precociously sassy child in Iran, confused and angered by the treatment of her people following 1979’s Islamic revolution, to a troubled teen roaming penniless through Europe—describe an Iran and its people that Americans don't often see, but should. After reading that delicate mini-masterpiece, it's hard not to think of Satrapi's follow-up, the barely-there Embroideries, as merely a cash-in on its predecessor’s critical acclaim, and a bit of a rip-off. While Persepolis managed to fit a dozen or so revealing and provocative tales/chapters into its tiny frame (featuring several panels per page), the entirety of Embroideries is basically just one more chapter—revolving around a small group of Satrapi’s female family and friends gathered for tea and gossiping about their former loves—stretched out in a format (mostly one panel per page) that allows this wisp of a story to last for an entire book. Hopefully in 20 years Satrapi will repackage this short story for what it is—the first chapter in the next book of her life story.

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