(Disclaimer: I previously posted this review on another blog for which I no longer write. This is why the formatting is a little different from my more recent reviews. However, I loved this book so much, I wanted to share my thoughts here. From Sept , 2014…)
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is by far, my favorite read for September. I remember when this graphic novel was first published and EVERYone was talking about it. I read the synopsis out of curiosity and didn’t like the sound of it at all. It sounded all political and dull. This year, I decided to read it for Banned Books Week and because I’m trying to find graphic novels that I like. I love this. Persepolis is a story that is going to stay with me a really long time.
It’s about an Iranian girl and her family and how they experienced, lived, and survived the Islamic Revolutions. It’s a first person memoir told from Marjane’s perspective from the ages of six to fourteen. As an American, I see the news reports on the Middle East and the places that we are bombing and the terrorists that we’re fighting against and it makes it very easy to forget that normal people and families have to live this life. Marjane tells her story without any “woe is me” despite the hardships and losses she and her family experienced. Can you imagine being a teenager in the early 80’s and being assaulted for wearing a jean jacket with a Michael Jackson button on it? If that had been happening here in America at the same time, just about every teenager would have been accosted on the street. Marjane brings these realities to life in her memoir and makes her experiences relatable to all her readers.
I also remember thumbing through this novel ten years ago and not being very impressed with the artwork. You have to read the story to appreciate the artwork that goes along with it. I can be a real numskull sometimes. The artwork, in its black and white simplicity, is poignant and portrays the emotions of the characters and the starkness of living in a city under attack without taking your focus away from the words.