Persepolis The Story of a Childhood / The Story of a Return (Paperback)
|Author: Marjane Satrapi|
The critics made the inevitable comparisons to MAUS when reviewing this graphic novel-style memoir. But this deeply personal child's-eye view of Iran during the fall of the Shah deserves to be considered in its own right. Marjane Satrapi is related both to the old Persian royal family and to Communist rebels. Therefore, it's not surprising that she was raised a sheltered child of privilege and educated to be independent-minded. Unfortunately, the unpleasant realities of life in '70s and '80s Iran--violent demonstrations, imprisonment and executions of relatives and family friends, bombings by Iraq--continually keep intruding into that sheltered life. And neither the repressive regime of the Shah nor the even more repressive fundamentalist Islamic regime that follows is a good place for an independent mind to speak out. Despite Marjane's deep love for and loyalty to her country, does she truly belong there anymore? The black-and-white illustrations, reminiscent of woodcuts, manage to be both childlike and sophisticated and work intimately with the text to provide both a physical and emotional landscape.
"[Satrapi] is such a talented artist and her black-and-white drawings are so captivating, it seems wrong to call her memoir a comic book....What Satrapi hopes to do is defend her country, and her beguiling memoir should accomplish that for many readers." - Gloria Emerson 06/16/2003 New York Times Book Review
"Marjane Satrapi's PERSEPOLIS is the latest and one of the most delectable examples of a booming postmodern genre: autobiography by comic book....Contemporary American cartoonists tend often to operate in a twilight zone of ironically diminished expectation [while] PERSEPOLIS, by contrast, dances with drama and insouciant wit." - Fernanda Eberstadt 05/11/2003 New York Review of Books
"[I]mplacably witty and fearless." - Patricia Storace 04/07/2005
First, my gripe is that this is not a Hardcover Box set, as it was implied in the item title. Thinking that I could get a rare hardcover set was the trigger that made me jump on this item. I would have knocked off 1.5 stars if I could, but I think 4 is acceptable. Nevertheless, Persepolis is essentially, the story of a childhood. Written with the feeling of a child growing up in a troubled era, as well as the form of a proper graphic novel, the books communicate the complexities of childhood, from longing, love, introspection and understanding and acceptance of self. Also, the historical background on Iran's revolutions and other history makes this set a great addition to a collection of memoirs from foreign nations.
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