Thursday, April 03, 2008


Marjane Satrapi

Last night I went to hear Marjane Satrapi speak and I have to agree with the gaggle of college students who stood behind be in the line to books signed: she is amazing.

She wrote the book Persepolis and the Academy-award nominated film based on the book, as well as Chicken with Plums and Embroideries. In these books, a girl from a secular Iranian family comes of age and comes to grip with the consequences of the suppression of freedoms in Iran. The books are literature and works of art and the movie does a great job of capturing the books, with a soundtrack that really punctuates the story's themes.

Apparently Satrapi is not a fan of the term "graphic novel" (this is how her books are categorized). She thinks is was invented by publishers to make people feel better about reading comic books. Although she does admit to understanding why people view comic books as something for children because she once held that view herself.

She is just as clever, sly, entertaining and thought-provoking as her work. I wish I could have recorded her talk or at least stopped being enthralled enough to write down some of her quips and commentary. Oh well.

The only quip I can remember was not from her, but from one of the girls in line. One said, "Oh, she'd so cute. She's really pretty." And another, not sounding mean or as if she intended to insult Satrapi said, "You're just saying that because she wrote four books."

1 comment:

Donald said...

Does this writer live in Iran ?
I find it interesting that a writer from the Middle East has an American
audience. Perhaps, the anti-Islamic
sentiment I read about is exaggerated. Drop me a line on the topic .