Each Wednesday I am featuring a guest post by a book blogger detailing which books they think are the “best” and “worst” by the author of their choice. Visit the series page for more information about the guest bloggers, the featured authors, and the sign-up form.
Please welcome today’s guest blogger: Aths from Reading on a Rainy Day, who will be discussing the best and worst of Marjane Satrapi.
The first time I came across any work by Marjane Satrapi was via my friend’s bookshelf during graduate school. This was during my pre-blogging days when I didn’t read as sporadically as I do now or follow any book blogs. My friend had Satrapi’s Complete Persepolis on his shelf, and something about the cover intrigued me – probably the gothic look or the clean uncluttered yet articulate graphics.
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s childhood and coming-of-age during the Iranian revolution, and her high school years in Vienna. I found Persepolis incredibly hilarious and yet it was one of the most moving books I had ever read. The dark humor lacing the strips was sensitive and also self-deprecating. In the next two books by Satrapi that I read, this turns to be her telltale signature style.
I finished Persepolis in a day. It was my first experience with the graphic format, which is now one of my favorite mediums for reading books, especially memoirs. Even today, Persepolis remains my favorite graphic book, because it demonstrated to me the power of telling a story through pictures, while keeping all the emotions intact.
It is hard for me to even say there is a work by Satrapi that I didn’t like. Since Persepolis, I have read Embroideries and Chicken with Plums, both of which were fascinating. Embroideries was just as funny as Persepolis while behind the humor, it focused on women issues and their status, or lack of, in Iranian society. Although I enjoyed reading this book, it’s not a work that stayed with me, like Persepolis did. I found it too short to be able to embrace the messages within the book.
If you haven’t tried any of Satrapi’s books, I strongly recommend them. They are also a perfect introduction to the graphic book medium.
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