REVIEW: Persepolis

The graphic novel market is one that has impressively expanded over time and is the perfect vehicle for Marjane Satrapi to engage audiences in her memoir of the after-effects of the Islamic Revolution in Iran during the ‘80s, Persepolis.

I am a fan of non-fiction and take pleasure in learning as much as I can about the world and it’s citizens, but it can be daunting to take on history books or at least those whose intended audience is assumed to have a background and the lexicon to support it. Usually lacking a clear narrative and heart, they leave me cold. I absorb knowledge more easily when personal context is involved.  

Young Marjane’s experiences of the revolution translate beautifully to the graphic art form. Upheaval in society, rioting, and war are all issues that pack more punch when depicted visually; not just reliant on the written word. It’s easy to become detached from and dehumanize events like the Islamic Revolution when you are simply reading recorded facts. Satrapi makes it impossible (much like Art Spiegelmen did with Maus in the ’90s) for a reader to disengage via the graphics of Persepolis. None of the imagery is explicit, but it puts a face to a piece of history. In addition, there is the added impact of experiencing events through the eyes of a child, which broadens the allure of the memoire. 

We should be indebted to those authors like Marjane Satrapi who incorporate the use of the visual arts to bring knowledge to the masses.

Rating: 4 Protests


5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Persepolis

  1. Like you, Dana, I thought Persepolis was terrific. I loved its subtleties and depictions of the tensions in the family, society, etc. Andrew gave me this novel for Christmas one year. It was my first graphic novel and it made me a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

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