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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis #1-2)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  114,087 Ratings  ·  6,134 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 153 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Pantheon (first published 2000)
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Erica Yep, I had to read this in 10th grade (high school).
Rachel Anne Left-to-right, unless you're reading a translation that has also resulted in rearrangement of the panes.

Community Reviews

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I knew a little about Iran. Not much, but a little. I knew it had been through a lot of changes, and that most of those changes had been steps backward when it came to personal freedom.
Here's a cool little 1 minute video that gives you a visual look at some of the changes in style, if you're interested.

Alright. What I didn't know was the hows and whys. And to be honest, it never occurred to me to delve much deeper.
There was a revolution, some religious nutters took over, and then everyone start

Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It was an eye-opening, heartbreaking and thought provoking book— I had many thoughts and feelings while reading, so much so that I had to put it down multiple times to take a breather.

I was in a haze for a very long time after finishing it— and I kept questioning everything in my surroundings.

Here are some instances that made me put down the book and think for a while (they contain *spoilers*):


Jul 29, 2007 Bookshop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They are among the rare books that I give a 5 which means:
a. they will come with me wherever I go
b. I will read them again and again until I remember every single sentence
c. I will not lend them to people :p.

Tita introduced me to these books. I have been very interested on Iran and was even contemplating to read the autobiography of Farah Pahlavi, the Empress of Iran. After repeated visits to the bookshop to flip the pages of this autobiography, I wasn't sure if I wanted to part with my money fo
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Chicago commercial photographers

Of all the banned books I’ve read over the years, THIS one might be the one that I really can’t figure out a reason for banning. There have been some selections that my children aren’t quite old enough to read or fully understand, but they are still tiny humans. In a couple of years I’ll gladly let them peruse my bookshelves and read whatever all of the nutters tell them not to. It was thinking of those nutters that left me shaking my
Jun 03, 2016 Afshar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Afshar by: Neda
من واقعا نمی دانستم چگونه باید با حجاب کنار بیایم. از طرفی در جامعه ی مذهبی زندگی می کردم و از طرف دیگر خانواده ام خیلی مدرن و پیش رو بودند

در جامعه ما، بارها زنان بخاطر پوشششان مورد خشونت قرار می گیرند. و خیلی از زنان لباس هایی می پوشند که اگر آزاد بودند آنها را نمی پوشیدند. وقتی از علت این تبعیض اجتماعی بر علیه زن پرسیده می شود معمولا پاسخ می دهند: چون زن بی حجاب باعث تحریک مردان می شود
هروقت این جواب را می شنوم یاد شعر معروفی از سیمین دانشور می افتم

!باید باکره باشى، باید پاک باشى
!براى آسایش خاط
Mohammed Arabey
A story about a very sweet lovable rebellious young girl from Iran..

No,'s a story of a free family under tyrant rule..
A story of once great country,Kingdom that retreat 1000 years back.

Marjane has dreams..
Dreams of Good life, Good deed, equality, prospect, freedom.
Then came the revolution which call for all that. To down the coup tyrant government.
But alas, the revolution got its own coup, named after a way-better-than-this-religion..even more tyrant..
Why - for me,as Egyptian- all thi
Pramod Nair
“In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance... Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.” – Advice to Marjane’s from her grandmother.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood’, the first volume, is the intimate memoir of a spirited young girl who had to grow up in the chaos of a society under a stiffly ruled regime whi
4.5 stars

I went into Persepolis with all the ignorance of an European girl born in the '90s. With all the ignorance of someone who sees war and conflict from afar, who is been used to being safe her whole life - because war just doesn't happen around here. Because we may send our soldiers to fight, but it's always somewhere else.

Things are changing. I don't feel that safe anymore. And in a time of fear and escalating paranoia, when people all around me murmur and whisper that they're all terror
Paul Bryant
Well, having read the book, I went also to see the film last night. But I will probably not wish to go to see the musical or buy the soundtrack of the musical with specially commissioned songs by Sting and Bono and Madonna and Cher and several other rock stars who only have one name, all their other names having been given to their favourite charities to auction off.
I didn't read Persepolis Book Two so was interested that the film incorporates both books. However my joy turned to large bananas
"Persepolis" is a widely acclaimed memoir/graphic novel, it was rated highly by several of my fellow readers and therefore I've had my eye on it for a while. Sadly, now, after reading this book, I am a little underwhelmed by it.

As a graphic novel, it is a notable work. The cartoonish style of the drawing is superb, the subject matter is very current, the combination of tragedy and humor is clever.

However, as a political memoir, "Persepolis" lacks. I don't know exactly why, but I never got a gri
Book Riot Community
I always feel a little silly and, well, superfluous adding my voice to years of praise for a well-loved work like Persepolis but in this case I can hardly help it. I absolutely adored this insightful, enchanting book. In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi tells the story of her girlhood and adolescence in revolutionary Iran in a way that is immediately accessible and recognizable, even if you grew up in a totally different decade and on a different continent. There’s a warmth and frankness to her way o ...more
May 27, 2014 Roya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: okay


Two points that should be made.

1. This book will make you sad.

2. That's okay.

Persepolis is the first book in a graphic novel series about the childhood of Marjane Satrapi, the author of this book.

In this book, Satrapi reminisces her life in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran–Iraq War - a time of oppression and dejection. Of course, with the Islamic Revolution came the arrival of the high and m
Dec 15, 2012 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I intentionally avoided the movie version of this book. I wanted my reading experience to be unspoiled, even by trailers. Now, having read the book, I shall have to go see the movie.

I am the same age as Marjane Satrapi. As I reflect the events of this book, I remember my perception of events in Iran: the revolution, the hostage crisis, the war with Iraq. Having lived in Italy from 1977-79, I feel a little closer to these events than I would have, had I been "buried" in American concerns at the t
May 15, 2007 drbarb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans, women, Republicans
I am as middle class (we call it affectionately, the "poor rich" where I live.) I am intellectual. I am like Richard Rodriquez and bellhooks because education took me away from my roots, but gave me who I am today.

So, how could Iranian middle class intellectuals and professionals in the late 1970s have been so different than me and my family? For the young, under the Shah, there was a strong and progressive, very Western group of middle class Iranians. Just like me and mine.

So, how could these p
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
I thought this book was very sad, I felt sorry how Marjane had to grow up.

I'm going to link this to a friends review that can tell it better :)

Anne's Review
Extremely clever and genuine book about a young middle eastern woman going through an oppressive misogynistic extremist regime, something I relate to a lot. It gives me strength and hope and makes me love and relate to people I, as a person who grew up in sunni saudi arabia, was always told were enemies or at least people who don't wish us well, that's the picture that's been painted. luckily i was introduced to irani art pretty early on, particularly cinema, so I've felt nothing but admiration ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is a good book. Satrapi writes with a powerful voice. One can easily imagine her childhood and early life. Many times I do not enjoy graphic novels because I think they are weak and poorly-written, relying on pictures to tell a story and not utilizing good dialogue and text. That is not the case here. Satrapi's unique illustrations make the Iran of her youth come to life. Many difficult and painful issues are dealt with in this book: torture, death, martyrdom, etc. Instead of cheapening the ...more
Nojood Alsudairi
I got this book in Arabic. Any one who is interrested could borrow it from me (if you are in Jeddah that is!)
أنهيت قراءة الكتاب ليس لأني سريعة في القراءة و ليس لأنه كتب بالعربية و لكن لأسباب أخرى؛ أولها أننا كنا في الطائرة ننتظر مكان للوقوف لمدة ساعة تقريبا(بسسب الحجاج رعاهم الله) و ثانيا لأن الكتاب مصور! أكثر ما شدني في الكتاب، عدا عن كونه مصور، هو استطاعة الكاتبة أن تنقل لنا أفكار طفلة بتفاعلها مع مجتمعها و سياسة بلدها و إيمانها بربها بطريقة جميلة. أحسست و أنا أقرأ بأني كنت بالفعل أقرأ طفلة لي
We complain about the religious fanatics in this country, and definitely we should keep an eye on them, because man oh man, things sure could be worse.

I liked this. It was cute but in a substantial way, interesting, and emotionally compelling. Satrapi made a point of representing her childhood self as kind of an asshole in a realistic and endearing little-kid way, which I thought was cool and served the book well. In a lot of stories about political repression the heroes are saintly people, but
Paul Capps
Persepolis takes advantage of the graphic novel format like few books have before. This could have easily been a written memoir, about a young girl’s life in Iran, but it would lose something special. The graphic novel format of Persepolis gives it an innocence that resonates with the story. It helps to deliver the story as seen through the eyes of a child. Not to mention how accessible it makes it to a wide range of ages.

Persepolis is the story of the author and artist, Marjane Satrapi, growin
Here's why you should read Persepolis :-

i)Satrapi talks about the pleasures and pains of being born as a female in a country under a most repressive Islamist regime, without ever sounding too serious or preachy.

ii)Iran's history during the growing years of Marji is summarized for you in a few pages along with the political and socio-cultural background of the times.

iii)This book features, by far, the coolest pair of parents that I've ever read about in a novel or book (or that I can think of at
Maryam Shahriari
مرجان ساتراپی خاطراتش از ایران قبل و بعد از انقلاب ۵۷ رو در این کتاب روایت کرده و به تصویر کشیده. در اون دوره مرجان نوجوان بوده و روایتها مال حدود ۱۳ تا ۱۶ سالگی اونه. به همین خاطر مسائلی که بیشتر بهش پرداخته شده در حد مسائلی هست که بچهای در اون سن براش مهمه و درک میکنه. مثل تغییر حجاب و گشتهای حجاب، محدودیت توی خوردن شراب، جنگ و ترس از بمباران و بعد هجوم جنوبیها به شهرهای شمالی و... یه جاهایی درباره نوع عقایدی که هم درباره گروههای چپ و راست میشنیده و در حد فهم خودش چیزی نوشته، ولی خیلی کمه.

Francisca Viegas
“One can forgive but one should never forget.”

This is the story of Marjane Satrapi as a child growing up during the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
It is so moving and deeply touching to actually see and read what she went through, as well as witnessing the gradual loss of innocence that came with living in war.
I recommend this to everyone. It shows a different side of the history of Iran - one that I knew very little about.
Jan 20, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cultural relativists as far back as Sextus Empiricus or Michel Montaigne, or as recent as William Graham Sumner or Gilbert Harman, often make compelling arguments that there are no objective standards for judging other societies/beliefs. Yet Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis achieves in 153 pages what cultural relativists deny as possible and what most political pundits can never fully articulate: an informed and justifiable criticism of an existing cultural paradigm. Satrapi's method is deceptively ...more
Richard Derus
Rating: 3.75* of five graphic novel, 5* of five film

The Book Report: So this is the lightly fictionalized life story of Iranian emigre Satrapi, as she grows up in the waning days of Shah Reza Pahlavi's rule, the revolution, and the subsequent theocracy. She emigrates first to Vienna, for school at the Viennese Lycee Francaise, and then after a time back in Tehran, off to Paris. We meet her delightfully outspoken grandmother, her neither-fish-nor-fowl mother, her drippily emotional father, and a
Mohammadjavad Abbasi
این رمان کمیک به شیوه اتوبیوگرافی بوده و شخصیت اصلی رمان که راوی داستان است، دختری ایرانی است به نام مرجان. مرجان دختری است که در جریان انقلاب ایران و بحران جنگ ایران و عراق به تشویق خانواده از کشور خارج شده و به اتریش میرود.این کتابها روایت جنگ و بحرانهای مذهبی و سنتی جامعه ایران و حوادث انقلاب و جنگ هستند و تاریخ دههٔ بعد از جنگ ایران را از دید وی بیان میکنند

میخواستم کتاب را نقد کنم که چرا چنین تصویری از ایران به دست داده است بویژه وقتی از خاطرات مدرسه و ناراضی بودن از حجاب سخن میگفت اما بعد
Sara M. Abudahab
A graphic novel describing how it was like growing up during the Islamic Revolution in Iran
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Aug 31, 2008 Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone ever
Recommended to Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* by: My professor I guess, because it was required for my class
I had been meaning to read this book for years. I think the first time I heard of it was when the movie came out (which I still need to see), and everyone was raving about it, etc. And I soon found out that it was based on this graphic novel (or, from what I've heard, Marjane Satrapi prefers the term "comic book"). So, since I tend to always read the book before seeing the movie, I intended to read this. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was one of the very first books I added to my "to-read" list her ...more
Marjane spent her growing up years in Iran, the daughter of wealthy-ish middle class parents. Her formative years were during the Iranian Revolution, in which her immediate and extended family took an active part. Politically, it was a time of great unrest and uncertainty and, if her book is any indication, she spent much of her time mulling over the things she sees and hears as an only child.

She's an interesting character - at times naive and idealistic, and, as she grows older, very aware of t
Joe S
Feb 02, 2008 Joe S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
It was a decently told story, with small shining moments. I don't feel it was worth all the hype, though, and I wonder if it would have been such a success if this weren't the perfect time to tap into liberal, anti-war, pro-vaguely-Middle-Eastern sympathies throughout the West.

In the end, I think the marketing was better than the story-telling.
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Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novellist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.

Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She a
More about Marjane Satrapi...

Other Books in the Series

Persepolis (4 books)
  • Persepolis, Volume 1
  • Persepolis, Volume 2
  • Persepolis, Volume 3
  • Persepolis, Volume 4

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“In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance... Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.” 588 likes
“One can forgive but one should never forget.” 169 likes
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