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Paperback Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood Book

ISBN: 037571457X

ISBN13: 9780375714573

Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood

(Part of the Persepolis Series)

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Book Overview

A New York Times Notable Book A Time Magazine "Best Comix of the Year" A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Eye opening quick read!

It is incredible how much you think you know about a culture until you read about it. This book is very informative and artistically rendered. Great way to introduce a study on Iran and the dramatic changes that occurred.

Heartwarming insight. As rich in art as it is in history.

I read Persepolis tonight. I mean the whole thing. I started it after dinner, and just finished it at the 153rd page. For those of you who've read, or should I say "experienced" this work, that won't come as a surprise. For those of you who haven't, consider it a high-endorsement. I had other plans for my night... ..I also had my doubts about this work. Despite the rave reviews, I've never even read a comic book. That, coupled with the fact that at first glance, it seemed very...well, childish? Oh the shame! Marjane Satrapi has created an apologetic convert out of me. Persepolis is the story of one girls experience during the fall of the Shah of Iran, the ensuing Islamic Revolution (which included Stalin like "purges"), and war with Iraq. Only it's not told in plain text, but rather is a pictured in a comic book style. A history buff myself, I have an above-average awareness of the historical goings on of that period. However, told in this unorthodox style, with pictures, through the creative and emotional eyes of a child, the "facts" gained a vibrance and color for me like never before. The human side of history had so much more meaning, and seemed to imprint a deeper and easier understanding in my mind than most accounts. When I was thinking about what was so compelling about this book, I thought of Edward Tufte. He's a famous professor and scientist in the field of displaying information graphically. I went to a seminar by him once. He passionately explained the concept of neural bandwidth, and how most text and plain graphs don't take advantage of the massive processing power of our minds. The pictures in Persepolis, coupled with Marjane's rich historical account seemed to take advantage of that latent neural ability. For me, they compounded and achieved something of an emotional critical mass of understanding that few books have. So, like I said, I'm a convert. I just ordered her second work "The Story of a Return". Only this time, I'll have a nice bottle of wine, and no plans for the night. Enjoy, Christian Hunter Santa Barbara, California

An excellent coming-of-age tale in war-torn Iran

In "Persepolis," Marjane Satrapi writes a fascinating and moving memoir of her childhood in Iran, a country torn by uprisings, war, and political and cultural upheaval. She has written this graphic autobiography as a testament to her beloved Iran and as a remembrance of those who have suffered, lost their lives, or fled their homeland due to war and oppression. She says that "One can forgive but one should never forget." The story opens at Satrapi's birth under the Shah's regime, and follows her life through Iran's revolution, conversion to an Islamic regime, and war with Iraq. A precocious single child of progressive activist parents, she is a witness to the complications and contradictions of Iranian daily life, both private and public. She recalls the first day the girls are forced to wear the veil at school. Through a child's innocent eyes, she describes her fears of the imprisonment, torture, and execution of friends, family, and neighbors, as well as of the bombings, oppression, and harassment that have become part of the fabric of her life. In spite of the turmoil, the author is a typical adolescent who takes risks by obtaining forbidden rock star posters, attending parties, wearing jewelry and jeans, and arguing politics with her teachers. Above all else, she is a spunky and lovable child who looks for freedom wherever she can obtain it and manages to triumph over her restrictive surroundings. The illustrations provide a simple but powerful depiction of the events in the author's life. Many of the drawings have a dream-like quality that accentuates the emotional impact of the joys, sadness, violence, and familial love that Satrapi experiences. This touching story reminds me of Hosseini's "The Kite Runner." I recommend both as excellent coming-of-age stories in tumultuous foreign settings. Eileen Rieback

The Iranian revolution viewed by a little girl: touching!

PERSEPOLIS is a graphical autobiography of the author, who experienced the Iranian revolution and the Iran-Iraq war as a child in the 1970s and 1980s. It is told in the beatiful black and white graphical language of a comic strip where simple pictures communicate strong feelings, much better than words could.But PERSEPOLIS is also the story or a whole generation of young Iranians, who left their land in the quest of better conditions during the post-revolutionary era. I belong to this generation myself and I totally identified with the experiences Ms SATRAPI went through- her childhood in post revolutionary Iran, her description of Iranian society at the time, her exile in Austria- also in the volumes 2 & 3 (which already appeared in French). Though conceived as a comic book, the book has messages which are not childish in nature: the child, through the naiveness of her views, points out to many of the contradictions of Iranian society that adults are unwilling to face.It is also one of the rare unbiased personal accounts of what happened in Iran at the time of ther evolution and as such, is an interesting document on this period of Iranian history.(It certainly contains more information on Iran and its people than the junk broadcasted on most TV channels).Some readers (including reviews posted here) criticize this book for not being a realistic description of Iran. Though I totally disagree with this criticism, the main point is that PERSEPOLIS is NOT a history book nor a sociological study. It is a story, the story of a childhood and the author has never claimed it to be otherwise. I definitely recommend this book, first to all Iranians who live abroad, especially those who did not grow up in Iran and did not experience the revolution, and then to all readers interested in getting a human, insider view of what Iranian society was like in the early 1980s.

BRAVO MS. SATRAPI

Although my French is not that good, I purchased all three volumes of Persepolis while I was in Paris (I wasn't sure if it had been translated to English) and read them all in one day! This interesting and adorable book pulls you in from the very start and keeps you interested until the end. So much so that you wish that the story of Marji would just keep going. I highly recommend this to all Iranians and non/Iranians alike. Particulary those women who experienced life in Iran and then left for another country at an early age. It's a MUST READ.Shahrzad Sepanlou

Outstanding memoir

At last this gem reaches us in America, after raking in awards all over Europe. Not only is it a very timely and revealing peek inside daily life in Iran, it's also a very personal, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking slice of one remarkable girl's life. There really is nothing quite like it, it's true. I've given copies of it to all my friends, many of whom never read graphic novels or comic books, but they all agree: this is something special. It's not suitable for kids though, because of its depiction of torture and violence and other mature themes you might expect in a society under the yoke of fundamentalist islamic rule. But for everyone else, I highly recommend PERSEPOLIS. This is an exceptional childhood memoir, that ranks with Angela's Ashes for its depth and authenticity. This one will be around forever.

Persepolis Mentions in Our Blog

Persepolis in Not Just For Kids
Not Just For Kids
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • July 10, 2019

Comic books aren't all superheroes and dystopian fantasy. Here are ten gorgeous graphic novels featuring powerful storylines that are complex, emotional, and educational.

Persepolis in 10 Titles You Lit-erally Need to Read
10 Titles You Lit-erally Need to Read
Published by Eva • September 14, 2015

Five words you never want to hear in a comparative lit class?

"Yeah, going off of that..."

Which, when translated to normal human speak, actually means "This in no way relates to the point you just made, but I really love to hear myself talk." Every English major knows the scenario: The class circles up after reading (or not reading) a beautifully crafted piece of literature, and an intellectually-indulged twenty-something decides to hijack the discussion with the deluded idea that they have the book completely figured out. But the thing about great literature is that no one has managed to totally figure it out – that's why it stands apart as a selection of work that we all keep coming back to. Plus nothing kills an engaging class discussion quite like an unchecked know-it-all. Whether you're the type of student who's read the book before it was assigned, or who only highlights quotes they find on sparknotes, these ten works of literature are worth a second (or third) read. And here's a plus; two of them are comic books.

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