Sunday, August 20, 2006

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - Marjane Satrapi [August/06]

I finally got this book and its sequel in the mail on Friday, so last night at work I sat down and read them because they are about life in Iran, something that me with my Canadian background is not fully aware of.

From the flap:

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 himan 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 whow we cannot help but fall in love.

This was a very creative book style. I do read comics, but they are not something I normally read. A few online ones here and there, but the ones I really enjoyed are either not being written anymore or have gone down a path where I do not find them enjoyable anymore. So, I need a decent comic read. I do like Thieves and Kings which is by a local comic artist. I have to read more of him one of these days.

Anyways, this book tells the story of a young girl growing up in war torn Iran. Life is not easy for a female, for a citizen period, and she is constantly watching her parents fight for their rights. If her parents are really like what she has displayed, they are not your idea of Iranians at all. The father gives his daughter and wife lots of freedom, as long as they do not break the laws presented for Iranian women. Marjane's mother participates in protests for the rights of Iranians and Marjane's father talks to her like an equal person, not a subordinate. This is not the image that people living in other parts of the world have about Iran.

When she is still young her parents make the decision to send her to Vienna where she will have more oppurtunities to grow and prosper. The schools in Tehran, the town she was born in, are getting more oppressive and they are telling fabrications of what life is like instead of the truth. Her parents want her to have a quality eduacation and make something of herself. Life has gotten hard to live, they are presently at war with Iraq, and that is where we leave the family. With Marjane at the airport about to embark on an adventure in a new part of the world.

This is a Random House book. Very worth a read for someone that is looking for something different to read. Even if you are someone that doesn't normally read but likes comics, well worth your time.



  1. I really, really enjoyed this book. Can't wait to get to the second book!

  2. I've read the second one. Just a matter of posting about it. :)


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