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tuesday

Whether you are concerned about a monster invasion under your bed, are interested in Iranian culture, or are simply a heavy-metal fan, Marjane Satrapi has something for you. The Rasht-born, Paris-dwelling author and illustrator is best known for her autobiographical graphic novels Persepolis and Persepolis 2. The books, which follow a young girl’s coming of age under the Islamic revolution in Iran, were a crossover hit and are even set to become an animated feature film. Satrapi has also written several equally beautiful and universally relatable children’s books, which you might consider shelving separately from her latest work, Chicken With Plums. In simple, heavy-lined cartoons that recall Gilbert Hernadez’s own explorations of generational and cultural intersection, Satrapi tells the story of her great uncle, Nasser Ali Khan. In the late ’50s, Nasser Ali was one of Iran’s premier players of the tar, an instrument similar to the sitar. One evening, his wife broke the instrument during an argument, an act that would trigger existential doubts in Nasser Ali and drive his decision to die. Satrapi traces her uncle’s decline over eight days, weaving stories of his youth in with the chattering demands of his family as he fades away. He reconsiders his decision to marry his wife; flashes forward to his son’s grotesque future, which he will never see; and can’t seem to let go of the specter of Irane, a woman he loved but who could not marry him. He also can’t seem to let go of the image of Sophia Loren’s nude form—his dinner turns into her; she later appears, 30 feet tall, with accordingly massive breasts to nestle in—but that’s a perfectly understandable hallucination for anyone to have. Satrapi discusses and signs copies of her work at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Shauna Cowal)