Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marzi - A Memoir

I am Marzi, born in 1979, ten years before the end of communism in Poland.
[img source:]
Marzi is a graphical depiction of Marzena Sowa's life as a child growing up in Communist Poland. Most of Marzi's young life revolves around how much she loves her idealistic father and her overbearing mother whom she could not please. As an only child, Marzi made much of running wild with the neighboring children and eventually growing older with her new best friend, Gosia, the girl living upstairs, after her original best friend moved away. 

The harsh reality of life behind the Iron Curtain featured a lot in the novel from the child's perspective; queuing long hours and not getting any fruit, fallout from Chernobyl, having to grow and sell stuff from their own country garden and operate a "black market" out of their apartment, and her father disappearing to strike at the factory. Being poor and having to chew window putty in lieu of actual chewing gum is really sad, though Marzi's adding of color pencils to enliven the color of the putty is yewwww.

As someone who has not experienced Communist rule, I can only appreciate and vaguely grasp how terrible it must have been.

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