Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
- Rating: 7/10
- Genre: Autobiography, Graphic novel
- Pages: 153
- Topics: Islamic Revolution, fundamentalism, feminism, family
R E V I E W:
Above, you can see the very try-hard aesthetic picture I tried to take just for this post… I don’t even like tea!
Anyways, I found out about this book through Emma Watson’s (my homegirl) feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. I was excited to read it, because I thought the story was so different from other books I’ve read, mainly because it’s a graphic novel, which I’ve never tried reading before.
I wasn’t sure how the author would turn a memoir into a graphic novel, but it actually turned out really well. Persepolis is about Marjane Satrapi, who tells the story of the Islamic Revolution and the Shah’s regime from ages 6 to 14, and how the Revolution had an impact on her daily life in Tehran. Personally, I love history, so I found this to be a really intriguing plot. Although I tend to find some issues in the Middle East confusing, Satrapi does a fantastic job in explaining and demonstrating how chaotic, confusing, and life-changing these events were. I also found it very interesting how these events were told through a child’s perspective, something you don’t really see in books. Marji, highly intelligent and mature for her age, presents some very valid and fascinating views on the Shah’s regime and the Islamic Revolution. From being forced to wear the veil, to hearing about the death of her closest ones, Marji keeps her head held high, in hopes of a better tomorrow.
Since then, this old and great civilization has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half of my life in Iran, I know that this image is far from the truth.
As you may have already assumed, the plot of this novel is grim and solemn. However, what I love about this novel is the fact that it IS done in a graphic novel form, which deviates from any more seriousness that would have been if it were written normally. There are even some humorous aspects as well, because Marji is a child, and sometimes she doesn’t understand mature concepts that adults are aware of, which I found to be funny. The illustrations helped me understand what was happening and the drawings themselves I found were quite intricate and detailed! The ending of this novel really broke my heart, especially because it was left on a cliffhanger. However, there is a sequel that I hopefully will read in the future.
The only reason I give this book a 7/10 is because although I loved the illustrations and the plot, I found some concepts to be confusing and I didn’t find myself obsessed or hooked. It actually took me a while to finish. For me, it was one of those books you could read in your own time, especially since the subjects presented in the novel are quite complicated. It’s easier to read it in pages, rather than chapters so you can properly digest what’s really happening.
The walls were suddenly covered with belligerent slogans.
The one that struck me most by its gory imagery was: “To die a martyr is to inject blood into the veins of society”
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to everyone, because it will change your perspective on many concepts that are being fought over today. It’s definitely worth the read, and it’s short as well! I can see myself rereading this book again in the future and I hope you will too!
What books have you been reading this summer?
**all photos on this post belong to The Invisible Ink**