Author: Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Summary: The images made it easier to learn from this story and made it more moving, but it was disappointingly short.
“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, 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.” (source)
This is my first experience with graphic nonfiction and I’m glad I finally picked up this book I’ve heard such good things about. It was a fascinating reading experience. Initially, I wasn’t sure about the style of the images. They are stark in black and white and didn’t immediately grab me with their beauty. However, as I read on, I found myself impressed with the way the author captured emotions in her images. Both facial expressions and more abstract images really brought the text to life. The black and white images also felt appropriate for a story that had such heavy themes.
The beginning of this book felt a little too full of exposition, but I think that was critical for any reader sharing my unfamiliarity with the topic. The story got more personal and more emotionally engaging as I went. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the graphic format of this book. In some ways it did enhance the story. It brought emotion into the story and made it easier to learn from. My only complaint is that story felt so short. I enjoyed it enough, I’d have loved more text. I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to say that it felt light. It was a deep, personal look at a tough situation and I learned a lot from it. I just wanted more of it and I’m honestly not sure if this means I prefer more traditional nonfiction or just that I should pick up the sequel!