Chicken with Plums
By Marjane Satrapi
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780375424151, 96pp.)
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
In her acclaimed Persepolis books and in Embroideries, Marjane Satrapi rendered the events of her life and times in a uniquely captivating and powerful voice and vision. Now she turns that same keen eye and ear to the heartrending story of her great-uncle, a celebrated Iranian musician who gave up his life for music and love.
We are in Tehran in 1958, and Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran’s most revered tar players, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged. Though he tries, he cannot find one to replace it, one whose sound speaks to him with the same power and passion with which his music speaks to others. In despair, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures, closing the door on the demands and love of his wife and his four children. Over the course of the week that follows, his family and close friends attempt to change his mind, but Nasser Ali slips further and further into his own reveries: flashbacks and flash-forwards (with unexpected appearances by the likes of the Angel of Death and Sophia Loren) from his own childhood through his children’s futures. And as the pieces of his story slowly fall into place, we begin to understand the profundity of his decision to give up life.
Marjane Satrapi brings what has become her signature humor, insight, and generosity to this emotional tale of life and death, and the courage and passion both require of us. The poignant story of one man, it is also a story of stunning universality–and an altogether luminous work.
Marjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran. She now lives in Paris, where she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers throughout the world, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. She is also the author of several children’s books, Embroideries, and the internationally best-selling and award-winning comic book autobiography in two parts, Persepolis and Persepolis 2. Persepolis is currently being made into an animated feature film, cowritten and codirected by Satrapi, which will be distributed by Sony Picture Classics in 2007.
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