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SFIFF: Author to Auteur

I’m seated across from acclaimed graphic novelist and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi in a smoky (thanks to her) suite in San Francisco’s ritzy Fairmont Hotel. The author of the autobiographical “Persepolis” is every bit an extension of the outspoken, headstrong young heroine portrayed in the books, so I suppose it should be no surprise that our conversation, which began with her latest film “Chicken with Plums,” has gradually migrated into uncharted territory, encompassing death, creativity and, at the moment, the American Dream. Satrapi, as I quickly discover, has an opinion on everything.

Book Critiqua: ‘Space Chronicles’

The astrophysicist and prolific science writer Neil deGrasse Tyson, popularly hailed as the intellectual heir of the late Carl Sagan, has recently published a collection of essays and interviews, entitled “Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier” (W. W. Norton, Feb. 2012). In a style reminiscent of the bestselling “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman,” “Space Chronicles” discusses such varied topics as the history and future of space exploration, the state of science education in the United States and the continued relevance of NASA in today’s political discourse.