Persepolis is the story, in graphic novel form, of Marjane Satrapi's coming of age in post-revolution Iran.  Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, Satrapi's viewpoint is often darkly humorous as the young self she depicts is acutely aware of the hypocrisies, fudging, incompetence and cruelty of the adults who have set themselves up to be the moral police of the young girl's virtue. Marjane has various close shaves buying Forbidden pop music and Michael Jackson posters, and some near misses when she fails to dress in exact accordance with the government diktats. But Satrapi is also a master of the small, heartbreaking touches: when Marjane's mother and father wave her off at the airport (concerned for her safety as more and more teens are arrested for small infractions against the regime) Marjane is initially excited about the adventure ahead. She takes her parents cracking smiles and professions of optimism at face value. She waves them off but at the last moment, the child turns back. Watches her parents leave. Thinking they are unseen by their child, their masks have fallen and the young Marjane understands the true extent of her loss for the first time. The precariousness of her new situation. She is still a child and quite alone now. Heading to a new country to strangers and unsure of her welcome, Marjane feels truly afraid for the first time in her life.

No votes yet
Marjane Satrapi
Book type: