Review Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Published 2000, originally in the French language, 352 pages
WHY DID I READ THIS? I have wanted to see the film since its nomination at the 80th Academy Awards. Once I started book-blogging, seeing it well-received by many AND realizing it was a graphic novel — something I had yet to enjoy, I knew I needed to check this off my list of must-reads. This is my first graphic novel and I read this for the Dewey Challenge. I suppose I could count this for the World Citizen Challenge, as well.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT? It’s an autobiographical memoir of a young girl from Iran and how the wars and politics of her country while growing up to become a woman force her to consider her identity as an Iranian.
DID I LIKE IT? I very much enjoyed reading this and enjoyed how the graphics enhance the stories. I was shocked how much she endured while living abroad for high school and how she found herself homeless; she was almost ‘lost’ physically and emotionally. Her choices during this phase presented an interesting contrast to how her country is perceived (or how I perceive Iran) and how one might expect a young girl from such a country to behave. She mentions this as well in her comparison to how the young women in Iran seek the latest fashions yet are quite prudish in their expectations of what is ‘proper’ female behavior.
I really admire her strong sense of self and her fearlessness to live her life as she feels she must. Her decisions were not easy but she understands and trusts her own identity; as an individual, a woman, a member of her family and her country, her world.
To me, this is another example of how we humans are all the same – we seek our own place in the world balanced with knowing our place in a secure, loving family and respectful community. It does not matter where we live or where we come from.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE SCREEN ADAPTATION? The film was terrific, too, with a few changes to the story line but not many. The animation was beautifully whimsical at times. This is not a cartoon for little kids, it’s a wonderful animated experience for adults.
I enjoyed this experience.