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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (edition 2004)

by Marjane Satrapi

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6,644265565 (4.17)329
Member:Adam323
Title:Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Authors:Marjane Satrapi
Info:Pantheon (2004), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

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    Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (teelgee)
  2. 70
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  4. 30
    Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran by Roya Hakakian (cransell)
    cransell: A complementary (non-graphic) look at growing up in Iran during the Revolution.
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  6. 20
    Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories About Mental Illness by Darryl Cunningham (vnovak)
    vnovak: In the introduction to Psychiatric Tales, Darryl Cunningham said that he was inspired to write it after reading Persepolis. They share a spare, black and white style and a empathetic view of difficult topics.
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  8. 10
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    souloftherose: Both books show the effects of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 on Iranian families. The House of the Mosque shows its effect on a Muslim family whereas Persepolis shows its effect on a more secular family. Both authors are writing from their own experience… (more)
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» See also 329 mentions

English (257)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Japanese (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (265)
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
Wow.

I'll write a proper review on the second half. Which I'm not going to read tonight, because, oh the feels.

But suffice to say this is painfully good. And all the comparisons to Maus are dead on, except in some (actually many) ways, this is somehow more accessible to me. ( )
  krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
I recently started reading graphic novels (you may think of them as comic books). I looked online to see if anyone had information as to why an adult would like a graphic novel and most of what I read was that graphics are great ways to get reluctant readers to enjoy reading. As I am not what you would call a reluctant reader I am still not sure what the appeal is, but it might just be that the story is pared to the bare bones and the illustrations serve to, well, illustrate nuances rather than the author using lengthy descriptive paragraphs.

I reviewed “Maus” by Art Spiegelman and “Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh. Here comes a third, “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. All three of these books were written and illustrated by the author.

“Persepolis the story of a childhood” by Marjane Satrapi describes the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the Iraq/Iran war of the 1980s through the eyes of a precocious child. Satrapi starts out as a six-year-old girl with an active imagination. She has long talks with God and believes she is a prophet who can heal her grandmother’s pain. As she grows Satrapi learns about social classes, prison, torture and relatives she never knew she had. Her parents are progressive revolutionaries, but after the revolution they realize that their freedoms are being taken away one after another. Women are forced to wear the veil, schools close and pop culture is quashed. Friends start moving out of the country or disappearing entirely.

As my daughter read “Persepolis” she asked me who the “good guys were.” The communists overthrew a totalitarian regime, which was replaced by an Islamic theocracy. I am not sure there were any good guys, from a traditional American standpoint. Satrapi, as a child, also has a hard time understanding who the good guys are. Everybody is sending her mixed messages; for example after the Shah is overthrown school children are asked to tear out the pictures of him from their history text books. Satrapi points out that the teacher had taught them the Shah was chosen by God. Of course she was punished. Her parents also send mixed messages, they are communists yet they have a maid and a Cadillac.

The illustrations are simple, clear and poignant. They work well with Satrapi’s fearless words. The sharp black and white leaves no room for gray areas, much like the regime that took over Iran. Satrapi manages to illustrate not only the horrors of torture and war but just plain old growing up through the eyes of a child in a way that is at times charming and at times stark.

I see in the Teen Library we also have “Boxers” and “Saints” by Gene Luen Yang which cover the Boxer Rebellion in China. These books received great reviews. We also have graphic novels by Diana Gabaldon and Stephanie Meyer, both mainstream authors.

I would recommend “Persepolis” to anyone who is willing to try something new in the way of a book, those who like a fast-paced story and those wanting to learn about Iran from the standpoint of someone who loves the country deeply.
  barefootcowgirl | Jul 29, 2016 |
What a powerful and provocative book! From the second I picked it up I couldn't put it down. The illustrations in this graphic novel are soo stark and contrasting and fit the theme of the story perfectly.

Persepolis is a graphic novel depicting what it was like to grow up a young girl in Iran during the early eighties. The fact that it's through the eyes of a young child make it that much more powerful. Her innocence is evident as she tries to wrap her head around the violence, the extreme religious movements, the veil, and more.

If you want to learn more about the Middle East or Iran and don't know where to start this book is a great introduction to the subject and will point you in the right direction.

What a seriously innovative and clever concept. Graphic novels keep on getting better and better. I cannot wait to read the sequel (which came out in 2004). If you like historical fiction/ non-fiction graphic novels be sure to also check out Maus which explores the concentration camps during World War II. ( )
  ecataldi | May 27, 2016 |
http://tinyurl.com/zzkj22k

I wanted to re-read this for book club but couldn't find the time to do that outside of lunch time at work today. Panic! Where can I quickly scan this graphic novel so I can recall what I thought when I read it years ago. Oh, right, I work in a library, duh. Yay, libraries!

In many respects, I doubt this story is different from any told during a revolution. Young people's ideals are tossed about like ships in storms - you hear things, learn they are not true, get educated (formally or informally) about things that are more akin to the truth, add all those things together, plus anything you personally experience, and this becomes how you approach the world. In some circumstances, the truths you learn about are either vastly diverse or non-existent. Either way, you build a personal view of how the revolution affects you, your family and your country.

This book is a fascinating mix of all that with the bonus of clarifying and illuminating illustrations. These illustrations are starkly designed and drawn, which brings us closer to the terrifying aspects of this particular revolution(s). They also stop short of telling the whole story - meaning that there is another volume about Satrapi's childhood that completes the tale. The impact of the revolution on Satrapi can't be wholly felt unless both books are read. ( )
  khage | May 16, 2016 |

Originally posted here

I flew through reading this book, it gripped me from the very first page. I don't know much about Iran or its history so Persepolis was very illuminating and interesting to me. Marjane's family is very privileged and educated so I felt like this gave a very interesting perspective of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It is the story of Marjane along with her family rebelling and protesting against oppression. I found it truly heartbreaking at times but on the whole very inspiring.

There is a great thread of humour running throughout Marjane's story and I felt myself cracking up at some of the more ridiculous situations. Marjane has a great voice and I was so emotionally invested in her family. This book truly is a testament to the human spirit. Because of Marjane's family status, I feel like she was extremely lucky to have the option of reading political books, going to a good school, learning from the political activists in her family and being able to travel outside of Iran.

All in all, I feel like reading Persepolis has made me a more emphatic person towards people who are living under oppressive regimes all over the world. There needs to be more books like this one. Persepolis has become one of my all time favourites. ( )
  4everfanatical | Apr 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
Satrapi’s style is almost primitive, consisting of flat figures with simple shapes and features. It’s more sophisticated than a child’s creations, but it superficially resembles them, an approach that supports the presentation of memories from that period of life.
 
Marjane Satrapi's ''Persepolis'' is the latest and one of the most delectable examples of a booming postmodern genre: autobiography by comic book.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marjane Satrapiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aarne, TainaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deluze, EveLetteringsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferris, BlakeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrien, CelineAdditional hand letteringsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ripa, MattiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my parents
First words
This is me when I was 10 years old. This was in 1980.
Quotations
EXCEPT FOR MY GRANDMOTHER I WAS OBVIOUSLY THE ONLY ONE WHO BELIEVED IN MYSELF.
IT WAS FUNNY TO SEE HOW MUCH MARX AND GOD LOOKED LIKE EACH OTHER. THOUGH MARX'S HAIR WAS A BIT CURLIER.
TO EACH HIS OWN WAY OF CALMING DOWN.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Persepolis was originally published in 4 volumes. Some later editions, especially in the U.S., combined volumes 1-2 into one work Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood; volumes 3-4 were combined into Persepolis: The Story of a Return. Keep this in mind when combining/separating.
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Book description
Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, where it elicited comparisons to Art Spiegelman's Maus, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane's child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
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An intelligent and outspoken only child, Satrapi--the daughter of radical Marxists and the great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor--bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, where it elicited comparisons to Art Spiegelman's Maus, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane's child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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