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Book Review: Marjane Satrapi’s ‘The Sigh’
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The Book Slave   |  
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2011-09-28-the_sighThe Sigh
Hardcover
Written and Illustrated by Marjane Satrapi
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Archaia Entertainment
Release date: November 8, 2011

The English translation of Marjane Satrapi’s The Sigh was released back in November and I had the good fortune of getting a review copy of this amazing fairy tale.

The Sigh tells the story of Rose, whose merchant father promises to bring back gifts for her and her two sisters from an extensive trip overseas. After much anticipation, the girls are delighted when he finally returns home bearing the requested gifts –– all except for Rose. Her father had not been able to find the seed of a blue bean that Rose had asked for. In her disappointment, Rose lets out a deep sigh, which unwittingly summons the mysterious eponymous creature to their door.

The Sigh gifts Rose with the seed of the blue bean she so desires and in return, he receives her father’s solemn vow to do any favor the Sigh should ever ask of him at any time. Of course, he who makes such open-ended promises should always beware the consequences, for there are grave consequences for Rose and her family.

Written in Satrapi’s fresh, unique voice, The Sigh is an instant classic fairy tale for all audiences more in the style of Grimms’ fairy tales than a saccharine-sweet Disney story. It reminds me of the kinds of stories my grandmother read to me when I was a child from a giant storybook book that was published before she was even born. In those stories, all the vivid imagery and imaginative prose were poignant in their often brutal life lessons. They’re what set off my imagination and turned me into the voracious reader I am today. The Sigh fits right in there with its tale of disappointment, loss, love, and redemption. The 56-page hardcover book is beautifully illustrated by Satrapi herself.

Marjane Satrapi is also the author of other children’s books, including Monsters Are Afraid of the Moon, as well as the highly acclaimed Persepolis, a graphic novel of her own coming of age as a young girl living in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

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