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The New Stuff

“The Complete Persopolis” & “Marrying Anita”

Thankfully in last few weeks I have actually managed to catch up on some of the long pending readings. Though read quite a few but I think mention-worthy ones are only two – “Persepolis” for I liked it & “Marrying Anita” for I didn’t like it! And considering the reviews and hype, both these books have been there on my reading list for long now.

The Complete Persepolis, Author – Marjane Satrapi:

I simply loved this book. I had watched the movie earlier so, was aware of the story but still went ahead reading it mainly because of my love for caricatures and illustrations. And the book lived totally up to my expectations. Persepolis is an autobiography of Marjane told in a very unique way. It is the story of Marjane’s unforgettable childhood and her constrained life during Islamic Revolution in Iran; of her teenage and high school years in Austria, her dejected life followed by a comeback to Iran; of the contradictions between private and public life of people in Iran due to political influences and societal pressure; of self acceptance and denial of her own life, love, marriage, divorce and finally her self-imposed exile from her own country which she once loved a lot. Before Persepolis, I had very little idea about political conditions of Iran and its repressive environment, this book has given me a different perspective altogether about Iran and its people. In fact lots of incidences esp. the treatment of Iranian women sometimes made me think of British Raj, India before independence and suppressed lives of Indian women for ages, you suddenly find so many things relatable there. What is more beautiful about this book is the way it has dealt with such a serious topic, can you imagine a comic book on as heavy theme as this? Trust me, it’s captivating from start to end and graphics make the reading more interesting so much so that a person like me returned to certain sections just to glance at the visuals again. Kudos to Ms. Satrapi for such a great work and undoubtedly she is a great storyteller! A must read for all and highly recommended book from my side.

Marrying Anita, Author – Anita Jain:

Marrying Anita is a memoir of Anita a 30+ single NRI woman settled in US who travels to India in search of a husband. It starts with Anita’s observations on American dating system vis-a-vis Indian one and her analysis somehow makes her conclude that it would be easier for her to find herself a groom in a more conservative environment like India as against US. Thus starts her year long expedition to Delhi with one focused agenda on plate – MARRIAGE. Well, what in start seems to be an interesting journey actually ends up looking like a desperate excursion. Yeah, desperation is the apt word to explain Anita’s state, now what will you call relationship of a single woman with approx 10 guys in 12 months in a city like Delhi? And at the end none of them were successful. Page after page I kept on waiting for something different to happen but actually it was nothing more than a diary with a monotonous tone and dragging content. Forget about US, somehow description of life in Delhi too never seemed to be relatable. The theme was interesting but then the presentation was too drab, beyond few pages you almost could sense the direction of each chapter. Overall an average read with nothing much to look forward to.


Bedazzled said...

persepolis (the movie) was raved about a lot , i remember .. your review makes it sound like a good read too .. must definately buy this book !! .. remember smitha giving good review for marrying anita .. i mite be wrong again revisiting anne frankes diary after many many years !!

Smita said...

Will try getting "The Complete Persepoli"...

You I liked Marrying ANita, like you even I felt that at times the book was drab but somehow I read it as a was a kind of commentary on Indian Marriage scene....

Nice reviews :-)

Renu said...

will try to get the first one as I am curious to read a comic book on serious topic, as I read thousand splendid suns on the life of women in Iran and its quite serious and tragic.

Sneo said...

marrying anita was drab? Maybe I ll give you my version of marrying sneha.. it might for all be more realisi\tic

Nu said...

Thanks for the review...I was about to buy Marrying Anita... and was fiddling with the thought of reading Persopolis... You gave a clear idea, thankuuuuuuuuuu !

Nautankey said...

wish i get to pronunce the name of the first book..and yeah got similiar reviews abt the 2nd book. Books like that inspire us to write books :)

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Jack said...


Visiting after a long gap. Read all available posts. Thanks for information on swine flu. It is a pity that there are a number of organisations who only boast of being available for help to needy but on ground they are only looking after their selfish interest. And to top it rich & mighty get away with almost anything. I always say that when feeling down just look at those who are more unfortunate and thank the Almighty for blessings. Heard a lot about Kameiney, will see it if I can. No comments on book review as I am lucky if I can read newspaper the same day, what with grandchildren keeping me on the run. Time with them is more precious. Isn't it?

Take care

PS : How is your mother? Is she bloging regularly?

Abhishek said...

I also saw 'Marrying Anita' but it seemed like a chicklit so didn't pick it up :)

Isn't this NRI-coming-to-India-to-get-married concept a bit over explored now?

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