Chimera's Reviews > Persepolis, Volume 2

Persepolis, Volume 2 by Marjane Satrapi
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Jan 03, 09

bookshelves: outstanding, across-cultures, graphic-novels
Read in December, 2008

Review for the whole Persepolis series:

I re-read this last week and what can I say ? This series gets no less wonderful on the second (or was it my third ?) reading… It is so many things into one!

A wonderful Graphic novel for a start. I love all graphic novels and more generally “BD” as we call them in French: I grew up with Tintin, Asterix and Blake & Mortimer. But Persepolis truly is a gem apart. The amount of meaning, feeling and humour Marjane Satrapi manages to convey through her simple, black & white drawings is incredible ! The simplicity of it acompanies all the better her story.

A delightful autobiography to continue. Dont let the big theme of the Iranian history and Islamic regime fool you… This is first and foremost the tale of the author’s journey from childhood to adulthood, through the epics of war yes, but also of immigration, isolation and plain old adolescence. Marjane tells us of her sheltered childhood in a very well off, close to the old imperial regime, family; of the way her daily life changed after the Islamic revolution; of her troubled adolescence in Vienna… All of it never departing from her sense of humour and a truly bluffing honesty. From her six year old life aspirations (to become ‘the last prophet of the universe’) to her less than glorious moments born out of fear and despair, she doesn’t leave out anything.

And finally, a vivid testimony on Iran: old and new, official and private, terrible and absurd, loved and intolerable, bittersweet in her memories. As I said, this isn’t what stands out most when reading as it tends to fade behind the conductor of Marjane’s journey… but it will certainly stay with you long after closing the last volume, far more than any history book would. You will have ingested not so much dates as a wealth of information on how the current regime came into power and what it’s like to live under it.

As for the theme which occupies me on this blog… As well as a first hand view into modern Iran, Persepolis is also the account of a journey in search of identity: as an individual against the state, an immigrant in europe and finally, upon her return, a stranger in her own country.

So, that makes 4 good reasons to pick up this book… If it’s not enough to send you running to the nearest library, I dont know what is!
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