Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa
Series: Persepolis, #1
Published by Pantheon on June 1st 2004
Genres: Adolescence, Autobiography, Family Life, Girls & Women, Graphic Novel
ADD TO GOODREADS:
A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”
A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
As a young girl I was always a big fan of comics and graphic novels – more Archie comics and classic novelizations than Marvel, to be sure. Persepolis is nothing like any other graphic novel I have encountered, that’s for certain.
The simple, fluid illustrations accompanying Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of her childhood in revolutionary Iran stir emotions far more than mere words could hope to. Even without the use of color, Marjane manages to infuse her story with depth and movement. In fact, the stark black and white images are appropriate to her tale of oppression, revolution, and religious fundamentalism.
Marjane and I were born in the same year, 1969, and thus were of the same age during the events of her book. It was fascinating to view world events I recall from my youth through a different light. She and I were going through parallel lives, with completely different circumstances and yet we both underwent universal teenage experiences – listening to popular music as an escape, want the latest fashions and thinking our parents understand nothing.
This book helps humanize the Iranian people and its history. Written for a much younger audience than I, Persepolis is an important book for any person who wants to learn about other cultures and understand the hardships of the victims of war. It will open your mind and your heart.