The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return
Picked up this mainly of the back of positive reviews on some book-blogs (some of which are linked to at the end of this review) I’ve been reading.
While I’m acquainted with the form, I haven’t read many graphic novels in recent years, not since my early to mid twenties anyway, but one that sticks out in my mind, is Art Spiegelman’s Maus and this book is as equally effective and memorable.
Persepolis I, is an autobiographical account of Marjane Satrapi’s personal experiences growing up in the midst of the Islamic Iranian revolution. Its stark black and white graphics reveal a sad and moving story of a young girls struggle to understand what’s going on around her. Often lighthearted and carefree in appearance, they have the power to stop you in your tracks when combined with the accompanying text detailing the horrors of war. Simple and brutally effective.
Perspolis II, continues Satrapi’s story, escaping to Austria where she lives and studies for an often lonely 4 years, before returning home to Iran. An outsider now at home as well as away, Satrapi, tells of her struggles, with a simple clarity and honesty.
Despite depicting a state where you have no right to show your hair, wear make-up, run in public, date, or question authority, Satrapi paints a picture of a diverse and varied and surprisingly independent society in which the similarities to our own far outweigh any differences.
The Blurb on the back of the book captures it best:
…it’s raw, honest, and incredibly illuminating.
Buy, Persepolis I and II at Amazon