Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. 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 stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
For those of you who don't already know this, Persepolis is a graphic novel about a girl coming-of-age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It was first recommended to me by one of my English teachers last semester, so when I saw it on my last trip to the library, I decided to pick it up.
As a graphic novel, and at only 160 pages, Persepolis was a very short read. At the same time, I was surprised by how much the author managed to pack into so few pages. The main character, Marjane, (yes, this is a memoir), is funny, mischievous, and downright loveable. I loved reading the story through her character's point of view.
One of the things I loved the most about Persepolis is that it gave me, as a reader, a glimpse of what life was like as a child growing up in a country so different than my own. At the same time, many of the things that Marjane did while growing up were extremely similar to things I did myself during childhood. You would think that two girls growing up in two different countries a decade or two apart would have completely different experiences, yet I was able to frequently empathize with Marjane as a character.
If you're interested in culture or a good, quick, read, than you should give Persepolis a try. I'll be keeping an eye out for the Persepolis #2 on my next trip to the library!
In a Sentence
Persepolis is an intriguing coming -of-age story that also provides a glimpse into Iranian culture.