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Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis (edition 2003)

by Marjane Satrapi

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6,304243630 (4.18)318
Depressing and kind of terrifying, but very good. ( )
  comfypants | Apr 28, 2012 |
English (238)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Japanese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (243)
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see persepolis 2 ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Persepolis is a memoir of a girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, she saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime and the devastation that war brings.
  foleysh | Jul 28, 2015 |
This graphic novel highlights issues that most young readers probably are not exposed to until maybe high school. The Islamic revolution told through this lens gives it a very authentic feel that we don't often see in Western society. You get to see brutally at times, how much a culture can shift during someones lifetime and change how society functions. This is definitely something that young readers don't understand about other cultures, and I think its beneficial for them to learn about it, they may have peers who are from these areas, etc.
  loross | Mar 11, 2015 |
Marjane Satrapi uses her own personal experiences to give readers insight into an important part of world history—The Islamic Revolution. The memoir provides clear, striking images of a painful time in Marjane’s life. Although it is fictionalized, the reality of her story cannot be denied. It can be compared to the famous Pulitzer Prize winning Maus. Like Art Spiegalman’s graphic novel about the holocaust, Persepolis provides an awareness of a difficult time in our world’s history.
Satrapi tells the autobiographical tale of Marji, who is ten years old at the beginning of the novel during the years of the Islamic Revolution. Marji struggles with the realities of war, wearing a veil among other mandates, and trying to understand such harsh reality at such a young age. Marji tries to come to terms with the conditions of her country, but ultimately struggles and feels a sense of rebelliousness. Although her parents are very liberal, they feared for Marji’s safety at such a perilous time.
In this novel, readers will discover a bitter part of history, the loss of innocence of a young girl, the harsh reality of war, the difference of cultures, as well as feel a deep connection with a child who experienced a very unique childhood. This is not only an excellent coming of age story, it has a variety of themes to discuss, and the context gives readers a primary account into a piece of history. Class discussions can vary from themes of loss of innocence to cultural identity to social class. In addition, readers can clearly see the development of the protagonist and sympathize and connect with her. The novel is rich in both history and literary development, and the illustrations add a brilliant piece that will appeal to young adults. ( )
  Whitneyhhh | Feb 22, 2015 |
Author and illustrator Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran begins in 1980, when she is just ten years old. After the fall of the Shah, her affluent family finds that their privileged, Westernized lifestyle is no longer sustainable. The Ayatollah's standard bearers of Islamic theocracy are in charge, and they are watching everyone for any deviation from acceptable dress, behavior, or attitude. Those who run afoul of the government's dictates risk imprisonment, torture, and even execution.

The chief pleasure of this book is in its illustrations. Satrapi's childlike but incisive drawings effectively capture both the innocence of childhood and the harshness of life under a repressive regime. Her affection for her parents and grandmother is particularly evident. In the space of a few pages this book manages to go from funny, to heartbreaking, to tender, and back again, without ever seeming manipulative or forced. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  akblanchard | Jan 17, 2015 |
Cartoon novel, easy to read, surprisingly, told first person by a little girl in Iran and the changes in regime from bad to worse, the Shah to Kohlmeni. We watched the movie, Persepolis, at the Chapin Library, "Muslim Journeys" talks. ( )
  bereanna | Jan 10, 2015 |
I'll be honest, I didn't find the writing overly spectacular or groundbreaking. I wasn't wowed by the artistry or the uniqueness of the text. However, I was fascinated from beginning to end. She was raised in Iran, a country I really know very, very little about (and most of what I "know" is probably wrong), but I loved to see the same types of experiences that I had or that my friends had were still the same to what she experienced, despite very different backgrounds and very, very different types of trials in our lives. I thought the artwork did wonders for the text, it brought to life what otherwise could have been some very bland explanations. It was interesting from beginning to end. Definitely worth the read. ( )
  CSTaylor24 | Jan 10, 2015 |
Often thought about using this graphic novel while teaching Contemporary History and/or the culture of Islam, but time constraints have often deterred me from using this graphic novel. Check out this blog post from Teaching Tolerance, http://www.tolerance.org/blog/persepolis-classroom-led-understanding and this lesson plan, http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/pictures-tell-sto..., from ReadWriteThink.org. ( )
  lolhscybrarian | Nov 30, 2014 |
A very cool graphic novel autobiography. It's painful and funny to read, to watch the Marjane Satrapi grow up and go through different stages during the war. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Nov 24, 2014 |
Persepolis is a graphic novel about a young girl, Marjane, growing up during Iran's Islamic Revolution. It is a true story! Marjane wants to end the war because she doesn't want anymore people to die or any more of her town to be destroyed.

Marjane was very brave! For example, she wanted to wear western style clothes but the Shah's regime said women must wear burkas. She wore her high tops and jean jacket anyways even though that almost got her killed!

This book may look like a fun comic book but it is actually very serious. It shows acts of violence such as whippings and torture and repression such as the government mandating what you must wear and how you are allowed to wear your hair that demonstrate the human cost of war. However, it also shows the resiliency of the human spirit. A resiliency we all carry with us. For example, the ability to laugh through our tears in this case at the absurdity of war. ( )
  KendallCH | Oct 19, 2014 |
I enjoyed Persepolis and learned a great deal about events that happened when I was but a child myself. Marjane manages to capture the humanity of her friends and family in the middle of chaotic times. While the subject matter and presentation are very similar to the Maus books by Spiegelman, I think that Persepolis is more effective in its story telling because the people are left people for the good and the bad. ( )
  pussreboots | Oct 6, 2014 |
Okay, so it's a graphic novel. But a) it's quite good, and b) I'm going to more than make up for any possible "lack of weightiness" by the end of this year, I promise. I've seen excerpts from this book pretty much everywhere, it seems like it was one of the most buzzed about graphic novels from last year. I exchanged a duplicate gift for it in Colorado Springs over the holidays and read it on the way home. I recommend it highly. If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard anything about this book, it's an autobiographical account of growing up as a girl in Iran -- her experiences during the revolution and after which when Islamic leaders took over the country, and the beginning of the war with Iraq. Supposedly there is a sequel in the works? ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
I'm still not a fan of graphic novels, but this one was well done. I had heard great reviews and so decided to try it. The format helps to lighten the really tragic story. I'm not sure I could have stuck with this in a regular print book. The graphics were a break to the dark and heavy tale. I'm glad I read it. I learned something. ( )
  njcur | Sep 17, 2014 |
This review (with pictures!) and others posted over at my blog

Persepolis is a memoir turned graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi about her life growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq. From the back of the book: “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.”

What I liked:
Generally I don’t read memoirs – probably I’ve never read one – but I am all about graphic novels and that’s the element that really drew me with this book, as well as the lovely cover design. I don’t often find myself reading anything politically charged either, and reading how Marjane grew up through the comic medium was a new experience. Marjane covers her life from years six to fourteen and I enjoyed her perspective and outlook. It was childish at times, yet still very intelligent. The artwork is simple and powerful and oftentimes Marjane’s day dreams or fantasies mix with her panels about real life, creating something really fantastic. I also appreciated the way Marjane handled the politics and religion in her life – it wasn’t overbearing on the reader and I didn’t feel like she was trying to force opinions on me. I also love the overall style of the illustrations.

What I didn’t like:
The ending! This book is only 150 pages and feels very much like one volume of a comic series, rather than a stand alone novel. I was disappointed with the cliffhanger ending – I wanted more! I know there’s a second book and I plan to get my hands on it, but I wish this book didn’t feel incomplete. When I purchased this book, I didn’t realize there was a sequel and had I known I would have waited and read them back to back.


This book was funny, poignant and intelligently written and I can’t wait to read Persepolis 2 as well as more of Satrapi’s work! ( )
  MillieHennessy | Aug 24, 2014 |
I first read this book/autobiography in high school my sophomore year, and even then I was really intrigued by the graphic novel/ comic book style of the book. The book takes place in 1980's Iran in the heat of religious turmoil in the country. The main character, Marji is growing up in all the turmoil and her passion for social activism leads her away from Iran only to eventually return. The book has a lot of first hand information about the religious uprising in Iran, and what life was like for those who were opposed to the religious regime. I really think this book has a lot to offer in terms of the study of social activism and the country of Iran. The black and white comic book pictures in the book really add an elements of drama of the story and make the book easier to read and follow. I really enjoyed reading this book, the autobiographical nature makes the character development extremely strong and overall I found it was a good read.
  qrennaker | Aug 15, 2014 |
Liked it, very informative.. But a bit dull ( )
  AmandaEmma | Mar 26, 2014 |
I loved the book. It told me a lot about a country that I discovered I knew next to nothing about. I love the simple, powerful drawings, too. This is a story that will remain with me for a while.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6484805/ ( )
  Moem | Mar 11, 2014 |
I think this book is significant for what might be infinite reasons, but I will just name a few of my favorite. First and foremost, I love that it is a story of Marji's youth, it is really important, especially in non-fiction, to show our students characters that could be them. Second, I love that it is a memoir in the format of a graphic novel. You are really taken into the story, it is easy to read, but it is still a pivotal text. Lastly, the portrayal of a real world outside our own is an indispensable lesson.
  biarias | Mar 7, 2014 |
Review coming soon. ( )
  LibStre | Feb 6, 2014 |
Persepolis chronicles the author's childhood, growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq. Her parents were Marxists, so Satrapi watched her parents go off to protest and wanted to become involved herself fairly young. She also learned, while she was young, some of the consequences of protesting and resisting (imprisonment, murder, execution).

This was my first graphic novel and I really liked it. I really liked the story and I surprised myself a bit by quite enjoying the graphic novel presentation of it. She moved quickly from event to the event, and part of that may be because it's a graphic novel...because the images are there, she doesn't need to write as much description. This made the story move along very quickly, so it kept my interest the entire time. I will definitely be reading Persepolis 2. ( )
  LibraryCin | Dec 31, 2013 |
There are many things that could be said about this book. I was having a hard time figuring out whether I was going to like it or not at first. But that was before I actually opened it up and began reading it. After I crossed the threshold and just delved right into the writing, it took two or three pages and I was fully immersed. This is a graphic novel that doesn't have much to say for itself in relation to the art-style, though I could endeavor to explain it, but its main character, who is writing Persepolis as an autobiography, is the driving force behind this entire story--her story.

It's her childhood, written about growing up in Iran, going through the revolutions and the wars that soon after the 1980s began to ravage the region, and what it did to its people there. This is a story that very often I wouldn't turn an inch for or spare a second glance to, and yet perhaps it's because it was in the form of a graphic novel that I was able to sit down and allow myself to entertain a subject so normally distant from my interests. Not that I'm not a follower of politics, but that for the most part, I enjoy taking breaks from reality with what I read. It's a preference I've mentioned a handful of times before in some of my reviews.

But Persepolis was different, in almost every aspect. Yes, it had the political and cultural aspects of Iran unfolded page by page for me to understand. But it was a tale of experiences gone through by a child as it grew up surrounded by things it understood, and how those natural and normal everyday privileges, occurrences, and freedoms were slowly infringed upon and taken away. It's intriguing and moving, it speaks to you like a book right out of the Dystopian genre, and yet it's shockingly, veritably real. And that's what brings its value and its momentous impacting force directly to its readers. Nothing about it sounds like anything I'd want to read about for fun or even for the experience. But that's the surprise--that's the clincher: it is an experience, and one that absolutely should be taken up by anybody. Though we don't understand everything perhaps, though we may have preconceptions about "the Middle East" or "Iran" and so forth, this is one of those masterful pieces of literature that gives us a deeply empathetic look into the reality of things and how they steadily unfolded into many of the events that are still driving us and affecting us today on an everyday basis, whether we realize it or not.

It's something of a wonder to me too, who was still young when we had 9/11 happen here in the U.S., to read about how even in the Middle East, in Iran as Marjane Satrapi unfolds for us, things are so far from what we knew.... Scariest part, is she had started writing this way before 9/11 happened. And it was published here in the U.S. just barely a year after the terrible day. I wish as a kid, and even more, as a teenager, and now--ten years later--that I had been given a chance to pick up a book like this. To be able to sit down and read something where I could understand and empathize with these peoples across the globe who were suddenly thrown into stark and stereotyped perspectives for me. I wish I had Persepolis to show me that these peoples were the victims of their own governments, and they suffered terribly too. Because even though I'm no fool and do not hate a people--or hate a country, or a culture, or a religion, or what have you--simply because of what a select group of people in a population carried out against the United States... it would still have been wonderful, and a relief to my soul, to know that propaganda did not have the greatest impact. That I could reach out onto my bookshelf and find a soul like my own, who had gone through things so, so, so much worse than I had, even though my life could have been completely desecrated by the events of 9/11....

*Pauses to hold back the tears as best as possible*

...9/11 was an immensely personal occurrence for me, and I will never forget that day as long as I live. For your benefit, my Readers, I was in that wider group of peoples that was near New York City the day it happened. And it will forever be a hugely personal part of my life.

...it brings me relief, and a type of closure that I found hard to find anywhere else, to read Satrapi's book, and to know that here, here I had someone who I could hold close to my heart, who I could empathize with, whose experiences I could share and relate to, and support. ...that was a tremendous gift. And even though this is a very, very new piece of literature, not having been out in the U.S. for even ten years now, it's a wonderful piece that should absolutely be given a chance. Whether or not we agree with everything, whether or not I approve of all the things mentioned, I was able to truly enjoy this reading, and, always most importantly for me: to understand it.

Marjane Satrapi did her people, her country, and us a great thing by giving us her experiences firsthand like this. Although there are three other volumes I believe written after this one, I treat this volume, at least, as a gift. I'm truly glad I invested in it, and I hope my feelings will be found to be echoed. Like I said, I don't agree with all the things written there. I'm a very politically minded person, but... I appreciate this work, and I think many others would really enjoy it as well if they gave it a shot. So Readers, give this one a chance! It's really worth the time, and I think you'll come out a little more enriched for the experience it gives you. ( )
  N.T.Embe | Dec 31, 2013 |
I'm not generally a fan of graphic novels, but as I was using the book in a display of Outstanding Books for the College Bound (ALA), I decided to read it. I have to say I found it moving, and the simple illustrations conveyed the child's perspective on some pretty horrific events. I think I'm going to read Part 2. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Dec 8, 2013 |
I thought that these illustrations went perfectly with the book and can be used at the middle school level. ( )
  Kreho | Nov 22, 2013 |
The child view clearly highlights the tragedy of religion, and power. Yet gives hope in some life amongst the turmoil. ( )
  nyhoust | Nov 3, 2013 |
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
by Marjane Satrapi
Published on 2012 by Pantheon

Marjane Satrapi recounts her childhood in Iran during a fourteen year period that included the overthrow of the Shah, the Islamic Revolution (1979) and the war with Iraq (1980-88.) Politically savvy by virtue of being related to an imperial line and the daughter of Marxists, Marjane Satrapi tells her story through intense black-and-white panels with a highly stylized look nearly abstract in form. Readers unfamiliar with Middle Eastern history may need help to put things in context (google is your friend) but it’s worth the effort. The story is powerful both for it’s brutal telling and for it’s emotional punch. I cringed at her friends and families’ bewilderment at the Iraqis’ sudden upgrade in missile ordinance and was actually surprised that there were no recriminating fingers pointed at the U.S. for its military aid to the Iraqis at this time. Still, Persepolis is an amazing work of reportage, memoir and art. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Sep 30, 2013 |
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