Author/Illustrator: Marjane Satrapi
In this visually and emotionally stunning graphic novel, author and artist Marjane Satrapi tells of her childhood and young adulthood, growing up in Iran during the unsettled time of the Islamic revolution. Her story is in many ways heartrending, showing a government intent on stifling its people and their freedoms. But it’s also a story of the persistence and hope inherent in humanity, that spark that inspires secret rebellions against tyranny and that keeps us getting back up when we’re knocked down. I found the historical and political insights given in Satrapi’s memoir to be particularly significant, as Iran in the 1980s to 1990s is a place and time that I knew almost nothing about. It’s also really neat (although also extremely sad at times) to see life at this point from the perspective of the people, rather than from the government or a biased media. While not a story for children, I think Persepolis is an important and interesting work that is a must-read for adults, and possibly mature teenagers.
Note: This was originally published in the U.S. as two separate volumes, but is also available now as an omnibus, The Complete Persepolis, which I would recommend as it is quite a nice edition and includes the entire story.