Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strike club

The NW and S/SE London Karate Club (aka our book club!) was not deterred by the recent industrial action which derailed the London Underground for 2 days. Notably Lucy and Ernesto were courageous and dedicated enough to venture NW so that Ernesto could host his first session. He's on a bit of a fast track, he is, being the leader at only his second meeting! At any rate, he chose a cracker of a book, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, the first graphic novel we've read in the two years + that we've been meeting. Ernesto is, among many other very intellectual things as I've just discovered from his blog, doing a PhD related to graphic literature (I don't know exactly what to call it apart from knowing I shouldn't call it a comic book!).

I had heard of Persepolis when the film version came out, but I didn't see it in the theater. In the end most of us loved the book, the autobiographical account of a young Iranian girl growing up in wartime Tehran, who eventually moves away and falls on hard times before returning home, only to leave again. The pictures were amazing and, for me, helped add so much to the text, which was at times funny, sad, hard and informative all at once. The fact that the protagonist was an only child struck a particular chord for me, but the general discussion was related to how believable her story was, the differences between one's home life and public life in this culture, her relationship with God, and whether seeing the pictures helped make the book better or took away some of the pleasure of being to craft the characters in your head, as one does with writing in the "words-only" form.

I loved it and would recommend it to anyone! Next up is 1984...

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