6 September 2004, the wee hours

Picture from Amazon.

Persepolis is a graphic novel by an Iranian illustrator, Marjane Satrapi. I bought the first volume some time last summer. I saw it in Chapters and thought it looked quite interesting. The book is a great autobiography. Marjane recounts her life in Iran in a very frank and honest manner. You get to see a glimpse of what it was like for a child growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution. I don’t know if I would have bought the book before going out with Shima, but since I’ve started dating her I feel a desire to learn more about where she is from. Regardless of whether you have a Persian girlfriend or not, the graphic novel is excellent.

Picture from Amazon.

I was eagerly waiting her follow up to the book. Persepolis ends with Marjane leaving for Austria to study in order to flee Iran’s war with Iraq. The second novel is just as compelling as the first. About half the novel discusses the four years of her life she spent in Vienna, and the difficulty she faced living in a society so different from that which she was used to. The second half of the book examines her difficulty coming back to the country she had fled 4 years prior. Marjane is rebellious and modern, a thoroughly atypical Persian heroine. The book is enjoyable to read because it presents a side of Iran you will never see watching western television, and a view I imagine the zealots in power in Iran would not like people to see. I recommend both graphic novels.



  1. I just picked up Persepolis the other day, saw it sitting at the campus bookstore and couldn’t resist.

    And one of these days, I’ll actually be able to open it…

    As an aside, I really like your reviews. They are unobtrusive but point me to cool things and never have any sort of “I am the best reviewer ever!” crap going on in them. Good stuff.

  2. My “reviews” are meant entirely for my friend Mezan, who will bitch if I reveal anything but the slightest detail about a book or movie. I’m glad you like these reviews too. I don’t like reading long and involved reviews either. I don’t think anyone’s opinion is that authoritative.

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