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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi | Review

If ever there was a book that proved graphic novels are valid literature, this would be it. I picked this up after a friend recommended it to me but I was not expecting it to be so powerful and important. Through striking black and white panels, Marjane Satrapi recalls her childhood in Iran both before, during and after the Islamic revolution.

This brutally honest memoir follows Marji as a young girl eager to fight against the revolution in political demonstrations, to a teenager whisked off to Vienna all the way through to an adult struggling to cope with her cultural identity and the demons of her past.

Before reading this I wasn’t really aware of the Islamic Revolution nor the magnitude of the devastation it has caused throughout generations of Iranian’s lives. There’s something about seeing these harrowing events through a child’s eyes that makes it all the more chilling.

Marjane’s sarcastically witty voice is what makes this book so special. She perfectly earmarks poignant moments with illuminating humour, creating an autobiography that is as heart wrenching as it is hilarious.
Persepolis gives a platform to some crucial topics including: terrorism, political dogma, human rights, female oppression in Islamic countries, mental health, cultural identity, drug abuse and racial prejudice, in such a memorable way.
Marjane uses her simplistic drawings and love of comics to educate people of the goings on of the revolution; to tell the story of those silenced, tortured and controlled by a tyrannical government. To remember those imprisoned for fighting for freedom, those forced to leave their families to flee for their safety and those slaughtered in the war against Iraq. For in her own words, “one can forgive, but one should never be forgotten”.

Persepolis is a tale that should be told for generations, one that should be heard by everyone and one we should never forget.


    What graphic novels would you recommend?
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8 comments

  1. So glad you did this, Persepolis is one of my favourite novels :) Lovely post!
    - Mwahaki xx

    Mwahaki King || It's a King Thing
    http://www.itisakingthing.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely! I can't stop recommending it to people.

      - A x

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  2. I've wanted to read this since I saw the film a few years back. Really need to get on that!

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    Replies
    1. Ah I need to get round to watching the film! I hear the humour is a lot more prominent in the film, so looking forward to that.

      - A x

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  3. I really love stories that mix humour and wit with more serious topics, it kinda balances everything out and reflects real life, in the sense that nothing is ever just black and white. Persepolis definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy + I've heard a ton of good things about it!

    I'm still kinda new to graphic novels but I really love reading them. I totally recommend Maus: A Survivors Tale (also a memoir/biography, but about the Holocaust) and Ghost World (a ton of 90's teen angst)

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    Replies
    1. You're so right! There's something about the humorous parts that makes the whole thing more human too. It's easy when reading horrific stories, to detach yourself from the situation to a point where it doesn't affect you. Marjane does a brilliant job of making you stop and think "this is a real person, these were real events" - hopefully it will continue to open people's eyes so things like this never happen again.
      Thanks so much for the recommendations! I'm in such a 90s mood lately so I'm sure I'll love Ghost World.

      - A x

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  4. OMG this novel sounds amazing and I need to add it to my wishlist :D!
    Also, I recommend Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley!

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  5. I haven't yet read the graphic novel of this but I've watched the animated movie many times. I LOVE it so much! I just love the coming of age story and the fact it's true makes me love it all the more. It's just so hard hitting and real.

    I'd love to read the novel one day. ^_^

    I'm going to watch the film now. :P

    https://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

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