The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is the author’s retelling of her experiences growing up in revolutionary Iran. The story begins in 1980 when the author is only 10 years old. This is the year it became mandatory for women to wear veils and a cultural revolution broke out against Westernization. Of course, not everyone agreed with this Islamic fundamentalist movement and resisted through protest and other subversive acts. Satrapi’s family was one of the many against the revolution and war that followed. This made their lives dangerous. Many opponents were killed by the government. Through the voice of a rebellious young woman, Satrapi’s novel shows what happened in the homes of Iranians instead of the images the government wanted to project.
This is the second graphic novel I’ve read, and I loved it. The first I read was Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Both of these were nonfiction narratives and both were excellent. For anyone who’s never read a graphic novel, they are super fun. Since the novel is basically made up of comic strips, you have to adjust your reading style, and you end up flying through the pages.
I also think it’s cool to read a true story told through pictures. I mean, how many animated documentaries do you see? This book actually was made into a movie. The illustrations are just like the books’ (but obviously animated). In 2007, the film was nominated for Best Animated Feature in the Academy Awards but lost to Ratatouille.I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure it’s great.
Here’s another bit from the book:
Persepolis was a gift from my dear friend Angela, and if any of my friends would like to borrow it I’d be happy to lend it out.