The Complete Persepolis
By Marjane Satrapi
Goal # 35 Read More – This is the first graphic novel I have ever read. As you can see, my rating for Persepolis is 5 red buckets, which means I really, really liked it.
This is an autobiographical graphic novel (some call it a comic because of the illustrations). At first glance, my perception of the book was that it couldn’t be very deep since it looked pretty much as a comic strip; glad to report that assessment was far from accurate.
This is the story of Marjane and her experiences as a girl, teenager, and eventually a young adult living in Iran during the war with Iraq. It is interesting to see the diverse forces that converge in forming Marjane as a human being; there is the totalitarian regime forcing her to wear the veil, which her forward thinking parents protest against; her parents who instill in her a sense of what is fair and a thirst to fight for her rights but at the same time are trying to protect her from the explosive environment in their city; Marjane’s sense of spirituality and yearning for a relationship with God; her formal education at a French private school; the need to belong, to find her herd among her peers; and Marjane’s strong family ties.
It is very interesting to learn about the atmosphere of this war from the viewpoint of a person who grew up in the midst of the conflict, and Satrapi does a beautiful job of helping the reader relate. Persepolis is a quick read because the black and white pictures greatly enhance the meaning of the text, and it is delivered in a way that makes it appealing to the reader, also, the book has a chronological story line.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but will just say that Marjane eventually comes to terms with all the forces that are impacting her life; she finds her way through them. And yes, I totally recommend this book.