Before the movie and before the Cannes Films Festival ravings, Persepolis was an acclaimed comic book and a great story about family loyalty, youthful courage, culture shock and repressive government. The Persepolis comic books (there are two of them) are a wonderful way to learn about history and culture - in this case an autobiography of a young, outspoken Iranian girl and her coming of age before, during and after the Iranian Revolution. The author, Marjane Satrapi, does a good job integrating a comical flair within the serious topics of war and revolution. She also respectfully represented the constant struggle between the Iranian people's Western ideals and the government's extreme conservatism – finally a book that shows the Iranian people are not their government! In fact, they are nothing like their government. The comic book graphics, which are simple and tasteful, are a perfect accompaniment to the autobiographical story. You will get to know Marjane, the main character and author of the book, from the youthful age of 5 or so. You'll see her love for the Shah of Iran go from adoration to hate. You'll cheer her on as she says what she thinks - and what you think - hence defying authority and oppressive rule. You'll have to imagine the pain she felt when her parents sent her to Austria by herself to flee the Iranian government. You'll observe her struggle trying to assimilate to a county and culture world's apart from her origins. You'll understand her struggle with trying to belong to anything in the absence of her family. And then you'll see her back home in Iran - but never really being at home again. It's a great comic book, quick read and wonderful for people of all ages and nationalities. The only pre-requisite is a taste for culture and a sense of humor.
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Persepolis is an autobiographical comic-book style novel written by Marjane Satrapi. The story reflects her childhood and family events in Iran during and after the Iranian Revolution of the 1980's. Time magazine listed Persepolis among the Best Comix of 2003. The book was originally written in French and was later translated to English by Blake Ferris. The graphics were mostly created by Marjan Satrapi and are all executed in black and white.
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Format: Graphic Novel
Publication date: (US Edition) 2004, 2004, 2005
Number of Issues: 2
Writer(s): Marjane Satrapi
Artist(s): Marjane Satrapi