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Chicken With Plums h/c

Chicken With Plums h/c back

Marjane Satrapi


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Another piece of biography and a return to form for the creator of PERSEPOLIS and Iranian-born denizen of Paris. This has plenty of bite, and begins with Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most revered tar players, in search of a replacement for his beloved string instrument which was smashed in a fit of exasperation by his wife. Try as he might, he fails to find anything that sounds as beautiful and so falls prey to a depression that sends him to bed, determined to die. Eight days later, he does so.

Throughout the pages that follow Satrapi begins to explore the history and heart of the problem in a narrative that breathes in and out naturally, exhaling all manner of revealing encounters, not least with the real love of Khan's life - who is not his wife - and Nasser's relationship with his brother. Satrapi is not only startlingly candid in stripping away the gloss over her family's deep shortcomings when most of us would feel tempted or even duty-bound to paper over the cracks, but she's also insightful, and the result is not so much an expected sympathy for the heart-broken musician (although there is some of that) as sadness at a vain, miserable and self-absorbed prick whose vanity bred self-pity and superciliousness.