Book Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

IMG_3306Persepolis is a memoir from the author written in graphic novel form. It tells the story of a young Iranian girl’s life during the reign of the Shah and the Islamic revolution that followed in 1979.

 

 

 

Title: Persepolis

Author: Marjane Satrapi

Publisher: Pantheon Books, a division of Random House

Pages: 153

Purchased at Book Depository

Rating 4 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel really caught me by surprise. I didn’t know much about the history behind the Islamic revolution, and learning about it from the perspective of a 10-year-old girl was truly awakening. Ten-year-olds have a unique way of viewing the world’s harsh realities. They think in terms of black and white, and don’t understand that there are gray areas. Reading about Marjane’s 10-year-old self-trying to make meaning of issues that most children never have to face was absolutely heart wrenching.

The author also provides comic relief by showing you how Marjane deals with certain conflicts she is faced, like a true 10-year-old would.

“What would you say if I nailed your ears to the wall”?

“Wow! It would hurt a lot”.

-Marjane Satrapi, “Persepolis”

You can see her growth (until the age of 14) through each turn of the page in this book as she deals with the realization that her life is about to change forever.

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I think it is easy to see history in a way that is biased based on your own ethnic background, religious or philosophical beliefs, and where you live. But, Satrapi sees that you are stripped of these prejudices right from the start so that you can fully understand what it is like to live that same reality through another’s eyes.

“When I went back to her room she was crying. We were not in the same social class but at least we were in the same bed”.

-Marjane Satrapi, “Persepolis”

This story is important and especially relevant to the current heated political arguments of today. I think its message is clear: it is easy to judge a nation or religion based off of hearsay or the terrible acts committed by a few, but by putting yourself in another’s shoes, the true story can be told and understood.  

This book made me laugh, cry, and feel anger all at once. Overall, I enjoyed this read and look forward to reading the next installment entitled, “Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return.”

This book can be purchased at Book Depository

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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