Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

A New York Times Notable BookA Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-sellerWise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s 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, ye...

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Title:Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Author:Marjane Satrapi
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Edition Language:English

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Reviews

  • Bookshop

    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

    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 for the typical self-indulgent autobiography.

    So Persepolis immediately caught my interest and I wasn't disappointed.

    The books tell an honest and poignant story of a well-to-do family during the political turmoil in Iran from the perspective of the little and, in book II, adult Marjane Satrapi. The story is told thru' a stark black and white drawing. I marvel at her ability to present only relevant and interesting highlights of her life and Iran and meld them all to one solid, flowing story. They are sometimes tragic moments but told without self-pity. In between, there are generous doses of light, funny moments. I laugh and I cry reading this book.

    One of the most powerful parts for me is when the parents, who love her so much, let her go to study in Austria. She talks about how horrible goodbyes are and how important it is not to look back after you say your goodbyes. You can be scarred with the image you see when looking back. How true...

    I won't say more about these books. All I can suggest is read them. You won't regret it. They open mind to what hardship can be when freedom of self is not allowed. They are enganging. They are entertaining. They are sad. They are funny. They are everything I hope a book can be.

    Thanks Tita.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Of all the banned books I’ve read over the years,

    one might be the one that I

    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

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Of all the banned books I’ve read over the years,

    one might be the one that I

    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 head at the choice of banning

    . I mean, there’s no sex, no drugs, no foul language – it’s simply a memoir of a girl who lived through the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Generally when the whackjobs take a break from their cultlike book burnings they are

    sharing anything that points out how horrible the Middle East is. I guess at some point they just decided to go all Oprah with respect to book bans . . . .

    *shrug*

    I, for one, am absolutely delighted that Banned Books Week led me to discover

    . What a brilliant (and so very important) little book. Marjane Satrapi was able to detail the history of the Revolution and its lasting effects on not only her family but Iran as a whole with humor . . .

    a

    of humor . . .

    and compassion . . .

    and the heartbreak of a nation combined with the reality of her own life . . .

    It showed that no matter what might be broadcast on the evening news that people are people and even those of us who are separated by half a world have more similarities than differences. It also tackled how important it is to talk to your children about big issues . . .

    and to open their mind even further by using the thing the banners continue to try (but fail) to take away . . . .

    My friend

    was the first to express his love for

    when he saw it on my “Currently Reading” list and he unleashed his rebellious side and read a banned book this week too. I hope my kids are half as awesome as he is when they grow up. And to any other “kids” out there reading this – just say

    . . .

  • Anne

    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.

    Alright. What I didn't know was the hows and whys. And to be honest, it never occurred to me to delve much deeper.

    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.

    Alright. What I didn't know was the hows and whys. And to be honest, it never occurred to me to delve much deeper.

    People in my country

    to wear burkas, so I just assumed most of the people in Iran thought it was a good thing.

    Now, maybe my original views sound sort of stupid, but in my defense, I honestly don't understand why anyone does

    when it comes to religion. So covering yourself head to toe doesn't sounds any weirder than not using birth control, avoiding certain foods, or refusing medical treatment. And don't get me started on that My Husband is the Head of the House shit...

    My point is, if people willing do

    things because of religious beliefs, why not clothing stuff?

    But really this story is about much more than just clothes. It's about the slow and methodical war waged on freedom of

    kind in Iran, and it's told through the eyes of a woman who lived through it as a child.

    Since she comes from a wealthy and educated household, you get a different perspective than maybe you would otherwise. Her parents are actively protesting the changes, while also trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in their home.

    Growing up in a home like that made an impression on her, and you can see how she bucks and rebels as she approaches her teenage years. She wasn't raised to be quiet and docile, so she chafes under her country's regime.

    My son and I read this one right around the same time, and he thought it was an incredibly enlightening story, as well.

    Actually, he said something like this:

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the second part of this story, because...

  • Mohammed Arabey

    --------

    I loved Marjane so much and her amazing parents.

    It take place from

    , where the young girl witnessed all the depressive rules of the new “Islamic Government”

    The good thing is the richness of her family both in money and culture...even their ancestors.

    That makes a very helpful great insight into the history of Iran, and the major political turns. Most of these things I didn't know - or even if I read it once in text books I may never remember it as I will after reading this novel-

    I loved her wanna be a prophet.. it's of course unspeakable in my religion but it comes in a childish nice way...that's okay since she wanted the good deeds as Zarathustra.

    This first part is divided into 9,10 pages chapters, each with a title that may makes small appearance or bigger one but it has strong effect in the story. It's brilliant really I loved the naming of the chapters so much.

    There was a good

    and how the new government effects them, but I felt that adding a Jewish family into the story was just “inserted” for the purpose of showing diversity and how everyone been effected by the horrors of the war.. it really could have been presented better to not feel that “alien”.

    I loved that

    feel that everyone in the middle east must got with the passion about the western music and culture. And was hard to see how much trouble it get those who liked it in that time in Iran.

    Mohammed Arabey

    20 July 2016

  • Elyse

    The little red book cover to “Persepolis”, has been sketched in my mind for years...as clearly as a mental visual of the ‘Jack-in-the-box’ logo. ( I don’t eat there - but it’s pretty hard to not have an immediate visual memory of what their basic logo looks like).

    I’ve no excuse for not reading this sooner. I don’t even have a resistance to worthy graphic memoirs. So - no excuse here! I never saw the film either.

    I don’t think I need to share specifics about Marjane Satrapi’s autobiography in it

    The little red book cover to “Persepolis”, has been sketched in my mind for years...as clearly as a mental visual of the ‘Jack-in-the-box’ logo. ( I don’t eat there - but it’s pretty hard to not have an immediate visual memory of what their basic logo looks like).

    I’ve no excuse for not reading this sooner. I don’t even have a resistance to worthy graphic memoirs. So - no excuse here! I never saw the film either.

    I don’t think I need to share specifics about Marjane Satrapi’s autobiography in its artistic form....during the Islamic revolution when the Shah fled Iran in 1979 to escape. There are ‘thousands’ of reviews...

    But I do have two things to share:

    One is a personal experience. The other is a detail in this book I was curious about that sent me to google.

    I was in Iran in 1974... “the good days” my local Iranian friends tell me. I actually ran into some trouble -( not an all out revolution), but it didn’t ‘feel’ good at the time in Tehran, - a couple of trouble incidents- but I often think about how lucky I was that I missed a bloody nightmare by 5 years. When I returned home and saw “Midnight Express”... I cant tell you how physically sick the movie made me. I was in a ‘close call’

    situation in Iran, that could have landed me in one of those prisons ‘just’ by being with a guy who had drugs in his ‘pocket’ while crossing borders ( ‘while’ being searched). He quickly popped them in his mouth and swallowed them all. Being with him for the next 24 hours was another story!!!

    The other - thing that interested me in this book ...

    BESIDES ....the authors outstanding book achievement and her courage as a child....

    is she mentioned an author she was obsessed with when she was 8 years old:

    “Ali Ashraf Darvishian”. I had not heard of him. He was an Iranian story writer and Scholar. He also taught in poverty stricken villages. He studied Persian literature.

    It looks like his books are out of print ( at least in America)... but he was an inspiring man who just died last year.

    ‘This’ book was first published in 2003.

    The artwork is amazing —

    The story more so!!! 📕

  • Lia

    I went into

    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

    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

    I went into

    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

    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

    , blinded by ignorance and hatred, I feel the need to do something for my

    ignorance. To educate myself on all the things I still don't know about the world.

    I didn't know a lot about the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The history books I read at school and university do not seem to care about it very much; it's always about the West. Students barely have any idea of what the past was like in the rest of the world, because the general opinion is that they do not really care. The few things I knew about it were just from the news and the newspapers, a book here and there, a fleeting mention by my parents; but still, a very faraway reality. I am a fairly political person, if you can call it that, but I'm not trying to turn this into a political debate. Terrorism has always been real. Strangely enough, though, we hardly ever hear of all the people that are killed in the Middle East, because their lives seem somehow to be less important than ours. Because until something hurts

    - the ones with the money, the power, the technology and the weapons - it remains invisible.

    is Marjane Satrapi's autobiography, set in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The art style is simple, in black and white, almost childlike, and its simplicity manages to make the narrated events even more impactful. Satrapi tells the story of the Islamic Revolution with the innocent voice of a young girl and yet, it is immediately evident how easily her mind was influenced by the world around her - her school, her parents, the news, the things people told her. She did not know what to believe. Had the Shah truly been chosen by God? Did she really have to wear the hijab, if she didn't want to? Why did she have to go to an all-girls school? Why couldn't she wear tight jeans, or denim jackets, or go to parties?

    My impression is that the Western world often wants us to think that it's

    , the oh-so-civilized West against the Middle East, and to forget that the people who are

    fundamentalists are, in fact, the vast majority. Satrapi doesn't try to make her childhood in Iran look better than it was, but she doesn't try to make Iranians look like pliant puppets either. They fight. They resist. Satrapi's parents are revolutionaries, and since childhood she experiences the fear of imprisonment and death, sees her classmates go to their fathers' funerals, the people around hear flee to Sweden, the United States, England. After a while, she starts to rebel, too. In the middle of Teheran, the fighter-bombers cross the sky and people are forced to hide because of the bombings, and still, Marjane speaks up at school, listens to Iron Maiden, and reads books she's not supposed to read. In her own way, just like her parents, she fights back too.

    I can't recommend this graphic novel enough. It does not spare the reader the horrors of war, but it also shows things from the naive and yet extremely perceptive perspective of a child. It is not an history lesson - though it does give a lot of information about the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which I really appreciated - and it is both moving and educational.

  • Nat

    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

    ):

    (Those

    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

    ):

    (Those final moments broke my heart.)

    resonated with me deeply.

    The relationships between the families, especially between Marji and her mother, also hit home for me.

    There was one instance in particular that stayed with me— when her mother was willing to sew posters into her own coat just to bring them back to her daughter without marks.

    (It actually

    when she thanked her father first.)

    And the feelings of fear and terror and bravery Marji felt during the war were captured in such an honest way that I couldn't help but feel them with her.

    The incredibly supportive women and men in Marji’s life were inspiring. They all held a significant part in her journey, and it just made me tear up towards the end, especially when Marji left for Vienna.

    (I just... I keep looking at that last frame and tearing up.)

    All in all, this graphic novel was a complete game-changer for me, and I seriously cannot believe it took me so long to pick up.

    ,

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