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Persepolis 1 & 2

An autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi.

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Persepolis:The Story of a Girl and Her Country

  • Dec 4, 2007
Pros: Real story, Interesting point of view, Easy to read

Cons: Ending left me hanging

The Bottom Line: A beautifully written story of a girl during the Islamic Revolution, Persepolis is easy to read, but not as easy to forget.

I've never been one to keep up with current or historical events, something I've always been a little ashamed of but don't really know how to change. Sure, I watch the news, read the paper, and participate in idle "current events" discussions with friends, but I never really feel like I know as much as I should. Unfortunately, I especially have never felt like I totally understood many of the things that have gone on in recent history in the Middle East. Lucky for me Marjane Satrapi created a graphic novel called Persepolis which I, being all about the graphic novels, quickly snatched off the shelf and read in one day.

Persepolis is about Satrapi's life in Iran under the Islamic Revolution. In 1979, at the age of 10, Marjane Satrapi's beautiful story begins as Iran as she knows it explodes in change with the beginning of the revolution and the overthrowing of the Shah. The author's parents were quite progressive, always attending demonstrations, and they encouraged Satrapi to question Iranian politics as well. As a result, Marjane Satrapi becomes somewhat rebellious, attending some of the same protests as her parents, and at one point, her gutsy decision to go out alone wearing Nikes, tight jeans, and letting a few strands of hair show gets her in trouble. Throughout Persepolis is not only Satrapi's own experience, but also those of her friends and family.

Persepolis is written beautifully through the eyes of an adolescent. The illustrations are very complimentary; pictures are drawn in complete black and white and are fairly primitive and childlike. Satrapi demonstrates her unique talent in her ability to portray her life in this simplistic way while still preserving realistic story. This combination of simplicity and depth comes across incredibly. While Persepolis is somewhat depressing, Satrapi ironically manages to include several humorous moments, prohibiting this graphic novel from pulling the reader into depression.

A sad story written and illustrated so wonderfully, Persepolis is a must-read for anyone interested in Iran or the Middle-East during the Islamic Revolution. Marjane Satrapi will keep you involved the entire way though her at times funny, painful and across the board emotional story. While I still don't feel like an expert, I can say I have a better understanding of some recent events. Hey, if it helped me, I'm sure it can help anyone.

A Few Other Graphic Novels I've reviewed

Borden Tragedy
Electric Girl, Volume 1
Shutterbug Follies
Four Letter Worlds
Strange Day
Diary of a Teenage Girl


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More Persepolis (graphic novel) reviews
review by . May 07, 2008
Persepolis 1 & 2
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 …
About the reviewer
Laura Elizabeth 'Anderson' Brack ()
Ranked #319
I'm brand new to Lunch and looking to get settled. I write on epinions.com as laurashrti, and enjoy writing product reviews.      I'm a 27-year-old library employee working … more
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About this book


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
ISBN#: ISBN-0-224-08039-3

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Author: Marjane Satrapi
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels, Autobiography
Format: Graphic novel

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