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. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This is a valuable book for everyone to read as it gives a little insight to a different perspective. Nowadays there are so many people encouraging folks to fear the unknown, so it’s even more important to try to understand what may be unfamiliar. When I read this as a teenager for the first time, my mind was blown trying to adjust to the contradictions of a world completely unlike my own, but also so similar in other ways. Marjane was interested in many things I was at the same age!
The book has been banned, but I always found the reasons cited vague and unclear. The book perhaps illustrates violence more clearly to people as it is non-fiction, but it’s certainly less violent than video games. For that, I think the book deserves an award. In other cases, it appears the book was simply banned for Islamophobia (see above comment about fear). Regardless of the reasons, I’d highly recommend this read to anyone and everyone!
Warning: Contains some violence that may be inappropriate for children under a certain age.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? It’s a banned book at many schools, so everyone!
Want to read the whole series?
Persepolis: The Story of a Return (Persepolis #3-4)