Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

November 17, 2020 - Diverse Books, Graphic Novel, Reviews
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Publisher: Pantheon
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a graphic memoir about Marjane Satrapi’s childhood at the cusp of the Iranian Revolution. Born upper middle class Marxist parents, Satrapi grows up profoundly aware of her privileges, country’s inequalities, its political climate, and the importance of becoming politically involved. Satrapi uses descriptive pictures, drawn in a cartoon style, along with easy-to-follow dialogue and explanations. The story is mostly linear, although with some flashbacks. It begins in 1980, right after the Iranian Revolution, with Satrapi describing new changes to the school. It then goes back to her infancy, and the reader follows Satrapi’s coming of age story coinciding with the Iranian Revolution and war with Iraq. As she grows up, she becomes more aware of and involved with her family and friends’ political activities, eventually leading to her family making a difficult decision. This is an excellent book for learning about the Iranian Revolution, as well as an excellent coming-of-age story. The graphic format makes it an easy read and easy to follow, and pictures add another element to this emotional story. Satrapi provides an honest look into her childhood, and readers easily sympathise with her and her family. Overall, this important book provides an interesting, humanizing glimpse into a part of the world that so often faces prejudice from Americans, and is important and educational. It makes a great read for teenagers and adults alike.