Thursday, January 29, 2009

Marjane Satrapi: PERSEPOLIS 1

Marjane Satrapi
Ueberreuter (German publisher)
160 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8000-5401-5

Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir Persepolis brings us back to the late 1970 to early 1980s in Tehran, Iran, around the time of the cultural revolution. Back then, she was merely a child, not understanding what exactly was going on, but due to her upbringing, she was somewhat rebelious. Through her parents and her grandmother, she sees the demonstrations both against the Shah and against the religious leaders afterwards and even participates in some of them. When her parents realize that Marji's rebelious ways could get her in big trouble with the guards, they finally send her off to a friend in Austria.
While Marjane Satrapi's drawings are black and white only and remind the reader in children's book's illustrations - after all, Satrapi works as an illustrator for children's books when she's not writing her autobiographical graphic novels - they do show enough to make the reader see the Iran of the late 1970s from the eye of the child she was back then. While she certainly simplified some of the things that happened, to make them fit the graphic novel-style, she paints a good picture of Iran for outsiders who only know what they see in Western media. It's a wonderful, compelling and shocking story she tells, one that makes the reader long for more - which she gives them in the second installment...

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. This was one of my first graphic novels ever and I found it quite moving - more than I expected it!

  2. Marg, I felt the same way. I had heard so much about it, I wasn't sure it would live up to my expectations - but it was even better!