Title: The Complete Persepolis
Genre: nonfiction memoir/ graphic novel
Summary (from back of book): “Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family of Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trails of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming- both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile form her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.”
Thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this book about Satrapi’s childhood. It is a black and white graphic novel and some of the things she manages to do with negative space are really cool. The story is told in a very straightforward manner which is helpful because I had no background at all in Iranian history before going into this. There is also a little introduction in the beginning summarizing the last century or so of Iranian history which was very helpful.
As for the content itself, the story was very moving. The love Marjane’s parents had for her and they sacrifices they made was moving as was the bond between her whole family. It was also great to see how with the rise of the fundamentalists people began to resist the regime in small ways. The different ways people acted in public versus how they behaved at home was truly a paradox. This memoir is very moving; bad things happen and times are hard but Satrapi and her family manage to pull through with the love that they have for each other. There are, of course, some funny parts too; Marjane is stubborn and outspoken which leads to her getting into trouble on a number of occasions. If you have never read a graphic novel this would be a good one to start with. I’m still working my thoughts out on this one so I am not sure what else to say besides the fact that Persepolis is defiantly remaining on my shelf.