PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleThe story ricochets between the two worlds, held together by Desai's sharp eyes and even sharper tongue. Her first book, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, was a lighthearted romp, a souffle of a book. This is a more substantial meal, taking on heavier issues of land and belonging, home and exile, poverty and privilege, and love and the longing for it … But eventually the novel ties its many threads together, and Desai builds her transcontinental romp about the pursuit of a ‘better life’ and the price it almost always exacts to a climax that is much darker than the rollicking tone it's written in. In the end, when she succeeds, it's as glorious as a view of Kanchenjunga, luminous in golden light.
PositiveThe San Francisco ChronicleBack in Iran, Satrapi, herself a descendant from pre-shah royalty and the daughter of Marxists, found her family locked in a deadly dance with the forces of revolution ... Satrapi converts a childhood filled with secret police and a long war with Iraq into a comic strip that is both funny and dark ... These are remarkable tales of family resilience told with wry humor shorn of sentimentality.