From Publishers Weekly
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. Satrapi's talent for distilling complex personal histories into richly evocative vignettes made Persepolis
a bestseller. Here she presents us with the story of her great-uncle Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most revered musicians, who takes to bed after realizing that he'll never be able to find an instrument to replace his beloved, broken tar
. Eight days later, he's dead. These final eight days, which we're taken through one by one, make up the bulk of this slim volume. While waiting for death, Nasser Ali is visited by family, memories and hallucinations. Because everything is being filtered through Satrapi's formidable imagination, we are also treated to classical Persian poetry, bits of history, folk stories, as well as an occasional flash forward into lives Nasser Ali will never have a chance to see. Each episode is illustrated with Satrapi's characteristic, almost childlike drawings, which take on the stark expressiveness of block prints. Clear and emotive, they bring surprising force and humor to this stunning tribute to a life whose worth can be measured in the questions it leaves. (Oct.)
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The writer and illustrator who chronicled her childhood in the best-selling graphic memoir "Persepolis" now turns to the life of her great-uncle Nasser Ali Khan. A revered musician, he takes to his bed and refuses sustenance after his frustrated wife breaks his tar - an Iranian lute - over her knee. It takes him eight days to die, and in that time Satrapi reveals the futures of his children and unearths his past. She shows her great-uncle not merely as a wayward romantic but as a conflicted man whose story embodies several aspects of Iranian cultural identity during the late nineteen-fifties. Satrapi's deceptively simple, remarkably powerful drawings match the precise but flexible prose she employs in adapting to her multiple roles as educator, folklorist, and grand-niece.
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