Chicken with PlumsHardback
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- Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
- Format: Hardback | 96 pages
- Dimensions: 174mm x 242mm x 15mm | 364g
- Publication date: 16 July 2014
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0224080458
- ISBN 13: 9780224080453
- Illustrations note: black & white throughout
- Sales rank: 244,058
In November 1955, Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most celebrated tar players, is in search of a new instrument. His beloved tar has been broken. But no matter what tar he tries, none of them sound right. Brokenhearted, Nasser Ali Khan decides that life is no longer worth living. He takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all of its pleasures. This is the story of the eight days he spends preparing to surrender his soul. As the days pass and Nasser Ali Khan grows weaker, those who love him - his wife, his children, his siblings - gather round, incredulous, to try to comfort him. Every visitor stirs up a memory, and in the course of this week, Nasser Ali Khan revisits his entire life, a life defined by three relationships in particular. He remembers his late mother, who sacrificed everything for his revolutionary brother, but who also, in the last week of her life, found solace only in smoking and listening to him play his tar; his angry wife, who can't forgive him his melancholy and irresponsibility; and Irane, his first love, whose father forbade her to marry a poor musician and inflicted the wound that fuelled his music. The pieces of Nasser Ali Khan's story slowly fall into place, and as they do, we begin to understand him. By the time the eighth day dawns, having witnessed Nasser Ali Khan communing with Sufi mystics, Sophia Loren, the spirit of his late mother, his own demons and, bravely, with Azrael, the angel of death - we feel privileged to have known him. Brilliantly weaving together the past, present and future to explore the successes and joys, failures and disappointments of Nasser Ali Khan's life and through his story, the meaning of any of our lives - Marjane Satrapi has also once again presented us with a complex and deeply human portrait of the men and women of her country, and of pre-revolution Iran itself. She delivers this tremendous story about life and death, and the fear and courage both require, with her trademark humour and insight. "Chicken With Plums" is Marjane Satrapi's finest achievement to date.
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Marjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran. She grew up in Tehran, where she studied at the French school, before leaving for Vienna and then Strasbourg to study illustration. She has written several children's books and her commentary and illustrations appear in newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. She is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning comic book autobiography in two parts, Persepolis and Persepolis 2, and Embroideries. She currently lives in Paris.
Praise for "Persepolis "and "Persepolis 2""A mighty achievement [and] an inspiring coming-of-age story." --"USA Today" "Delectable . . . Dances with drama and insouciant wit." --"New York Times Book Review""It is virtually impossible to read "Persepolis "without falling in love." --"Baltimore Sun" "One of the freshest and most original memoirs of our day. [Satrapi's] is a voice calling out to the rest of us, reminding us to embrace this child's fervent desire that human dignity reign supreme." --"Los Angeles Times""""Cause for celebration . . . Superb." --"Philadelphia Inquirer ""Delightful . . . It is our good fortune that Satrapi has never stopped visiting Iran in her mind." --"Newsweek" Praise for "Embroideries""Stories of sex, love and marriage, ranging from the disheartening to hysterically funny . . . "Embroideries "generates a flavorful mix of perspectives with engaging, fully fleshed-out characters." --"The Miami Herald" "Tantalizing . . . Bold, bewitchingly humorous and politically astute." --"Elle ""As funny, opinionated, controversial, and surprising as any good comic or conversation should be." --"Time.com" "Subversive . . . Satrapi's book is a mocking rebuke to the cult of chastity, and a statement about the way human passions find their way around the most determined repression." --"Salon " "From the Hardcover edition."
Satrapi (Embroideries, 2005, etc.) recalls the tragic final days of her great-uncle, an Iranian musician who died of a broken heart after his wife destroyed his favorite instrument.Set for the most part in Tehran circa 1958, this graphic memoir tells the story of Nasser Ali Khan, a renowned master of the tar, an Iranian stringed instrument. A man of taciturn demeanor and moodiness, Khan believes himself too much of an artist to perform non-creative labor; he barely contributes to the household upkeep with either work or money. Not surprisingly, his firecracker of a wife doesn't take well to this attitude and eventually cracks, snapping his beloved tar in two and sending Khan to his bed, where he grows gloomy and frets. This day-by-day reconstruction shows Khan's wife and brother trying to rouse him back to the land of the living. But his artist's pride (the tar was Stradivarius-like in its perfection) is not easily mended. As always, Satrapi's artwork is simple and expressive, with its rich pools of black ink and swooping, lyrical curlicues. Only occasionally does she break out of a strict frame-to-frame design, but when she does, the results are breathtaking. One beautiful page depicts the family of one of Khan's sons seated around the TV: In the top half, they're happy and chatty, watching a woman sing; in the bottom, all is in perditious shadow, a bearded man lecturing on the screen, with the text reading simply, "But in 1980 war erupted and that was the end of happiness." Unfortunately, the volume is so short that the story doesn't have enough time to take root, and what could have been an emotional and heart-rending drama becomes instead an intriguing footnote.A thin sliver of illustrated memoir that barely hits its stride before fading away. (Kirkus Reviews)