Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi

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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.

About Marjane Satrapi

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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.
Published October 3, 2006 by Pantheon. 96 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Comics & Graphic Novels. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Chicken with Plums

Kirkus Reviews

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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.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

The Guardian

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Xan Brooks on Poulet aux Prunes: 'too sweet for most palates' Link to video: Poulet aux Prunes review: 'Too sweet for most palates' The French-Iranian animator Marjane Satrapi won plaudits for her first feature, Persepolis, the autobiographical account of a girl's coming of age against the b...

Sep 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

Publishers Weekly

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The question of what makes a life worth living has rarely been posed with as much poignancy and ambition as it is in Satrapi's dazzling new effort.

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BC Books

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The best selling author of Persopolis turns her considerable storytelling power and talent to telling the story of her great uncle, a famous Iranian musician.

Mar 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

AV Club

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Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud previously collaborated on an animated adaptation of Satrapi’s comics autobiography Persepolis, but for their big-screen take on Satrapi’s graphic novella Chicken With Plums, the two are working in live-action, with actual actors on actual sets.

Aug 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

Entertainment Weekly

The splendid Iranian author-artist Marjane Satrapi and her creative collaborator Vincent Paronnaud follow up their great 2007 animated film, Persepolis, with a live-action project that's rich with visual exoticism but lower on emotional power.

Aug 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

The Washington Post

(The filmmakers make particularly inventive use of silhouette, which along with the piquant staging and theatrical lighting lend “Chicken With Plums” a suitably fairy-tale air.) Indeed, when that appurtenance shows up in an early episode, it throws the entire narrative of “Chicken With Plums” in...

Sep 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

Huffington Post

You need to get a good fix on them or you may wind up confused, when the filmmakers finally reveal the full breadth of Nasser-Ali's story in the concluding moments.

Aug 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

San Francisco Chronicle

He dies in eight days, all right, but the movie, instead of moving forward, now goes back in time to render in detail every little thing - every last forlorn, sad sack, smoke-filled, depressing and deadly dull thing - he did over the course of those eight miserable days.

Sep 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

Time Magazine

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He was a musician with romantic eyes, but this is his story only as she imagined it.) Chicken with Plums includes the political—the lost love who haunts Nasser Ali’s memories is an exotic beauty pointedly named Irâne (that’s like being named America) played by the dazzling Iranian actress Golshif...

Aug 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

The Hollywood Reporter

PHOTOS: The Scene at the Venice Film Festival 2011 In reality, the crux of the film is supposed to be Nasser Ali’s ill-starred love story with the beautiful Iran (Golshifteh Farahani) when he was a violin student in Shiraz.

Sep 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums


The same winning balance of seriousness and humor that made "Persepolis" such a hit works equally well in "Chicken With Plums," whose visual flair proves that helmers Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud have a career in live-action as well as in animation.

Sep 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Chicken with Plums

Graphic Novel Reporter

In a mere 84 pages, Satrapi gives something heartfelt and unique that can keep a reader thinking about it long after turning its last page.Home - Reviews - Authors - Behind the Scenes - Coming Soon Core Lists - Books to Screen - Links - Poll - Newsletter Submitting a Book - Become a Review...

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