Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Complete Persepolis

Title: The Complete Persepolis
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Genre: Memoir/Graphic Novel
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's coming-of-age story. Starting in 1979, Marji is 9 and the Islamic Revolution is about to start in Iran. Persepolis follows Marji through the next 15 years of her life, through war and peace, adolescence, her teen years, into young adulthood and marriage (and out of it). We follow her from Iran to Austria and back, in and out of relationships and through it all we watch her struggle to realize who she is despite - or because - of her background, religion, and surroundings.

There were times I wanted to cry for Marji, cheer for her braveness, slap her for her cowardice, and just plain hide from the regime I could sense around every corner, looking for a stray hair from beneath her veil or the wrong color socks beneath her trousers.

Persepolis is amazing. At once simple and complex, it manages in 340 pages of words and pictures to capture what no novel could ever do: the experience of growing up Iranian during one of the most violent and terrifying periods of the 20th century.

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