Thursday 23 January 2014

Book Review- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Title: Persepolis
 Author: Marjane Satrapi
Series: Persepolis 1-4
Published:  2008 by Pantheon, first published in French in 2000
Length: 341 pages
Source: library
Summary :  Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from 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.
Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom--Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

Review: Marjane Satrapi grew up in Terahn, Iran, during the Islamic Revolution. Later, she is sent to Austria, on her own, for her own safety, and the second half of the graphic novel tells us the story of her return to Iran after four years of a totally different life.
I don’t normally read autobiographies, but I’ve heard excellent things about this. I wasn’t disappointed.
A bit at the start is the Iranian war in graphic novel form, which is useful and really interesting because history lessons don't really teach anything outside of the Western  world so having it all put like this is really good for setting up the world Marji lives in, as well as generally expanding world history knowledge.
The thing about Persepolis is the way it presents it. I like history, but i'm bad at remembering it if it's just a list of dates and events and figures. The difference with Persepolis here is that it shows a different view on it. Marji is ten when her school gets gender segregation and the girls are forced to wear veils, and Marji's young age changes the way you see everything. It adds questions, thoughts, and makes you wonder and understand even more.
You get to know  Marji really well. You share all her ups and downs, all the hopes and aspirations and sadness and loss.  You see her childhood and her liberal family and  everything they go through. The second part, set during her time in Austria and her return to Tehran, shows her doing some things that may not be the best decision, but she learns from them. I also liked some of the other characters-Marji's grandmother especially.

Overall:  Strength 4.5, more a 5 tea to an informative and powerful graphic novel.

1 comment:

  1. I would really really recommend finding and watching the film of this! The animation is amazing and will go hand in hand with the graphic novel aspect of this book. It's probably one of the best animated films I have seen in years even though it is like a graphical read through of the novel and there is no real different between the two I think you'd appreciate it.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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