Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review: Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi, Anjali Singh (Translator)

Last year I read both volumes of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, in my explorations of graphic (novels) memoirs, and a co-worker recommended this book as well. Marjane mentions her great uncle Nasser Ali once in Persepolis (that I remember), and this book is the story of his life, although told in the structure of being about the last 7 days of his life.

After a fight with his wife, during which she breaks his beloved Tar (a Persian instrument, like a guitar), Nasser Ali, a musician, decides he is done and wants to die. He then refuses to leave his room and eat or drink, and in the end he is successful. Through flashbacks (and one flash forward), we learn the story of his life. He grew up as the rebellious failure of the family (Marjane's grandfather was the studious, goody-goody), but he found music which gave his life meaning and direction. After a failed romance, he married and had four children.

As with Ms. Satrapi's previous books, the stark black and white images are very evocative, despite their simplicity. This book has less politics than Persepolis (although the Shah and the coup and a few other events are referenced), but is still very powerful.

I borrowed this book from a friend.


Mystica said...

This is a new book for me so thanks for the review.

Ash said...

I read this last year and really enjoyed it. I hope to get to Embroideries soon.