Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I was excited about reading Persepolis. Not only did I want to read a graphic novel, this was one I had intended to read since its popularity a good ten years ago. I haven’t been disappointed.

Not only is Persepolis moving and funny it is also a mini education in its own right. Marjane, the author and protagonist, is always returning to education as a way to better herself and to improve her life. Reading Persepolis has given me a new perspective on Iran and on the eighties and nineties of my youth. I was one of those westerners worried about what the Iraq war would mean for Europe, one of those people that Marjane and her father laughed about. How could I be so worried about a war so far away? My house wasn’t about to be bombed. I didn’t have to black out my windows so neighbours couldn’t see me having a party or drinking alcohol.

The nature of the illustration – its way of distinguishing people whilst giving them a flavour of uniformity – along with the careful choice of words is enough to turn one woman’s life into the story of generation. I really enjoyed reading Persepolis. I laughed, I cried, I questioned my judgements. I will certainly open its pages again and no doubt enjoy it just as much a second time. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to pick up a copy.

Next week I’m reading In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami followed by Unthology 7, edited by Ashley Stokes and Robin Jones and published by Unthank Books.

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