Wednesday, May 12, 2010

66. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

I've referenced my geeky note-taking in the past couple of posts, and I just had to share the notes that I took on Persepolis:

recommended by Annie, she lent me her copy

super good, love the drawing, humor, serious moments

never fully understand middle east issues

That's it! That's all she wrote! :)

Wise, funny and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane's child's-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

Summary lifted from the book jacket. 

As you can see above, I barely took any notes while reading. I think this is because Persepolis is a fairly quick read and totally engrossing. It's rare that I don't want to turn away from a book long enough to tap away on the laptop for a few minutes. It's also rare for me to find something that I think is a valuable read, enriching my understanding of the world, that I also just plain enjoy reading. I love this line from the summary -- "It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity." -- because it perfectly encapsulates the tone of the book. I'm really glad that I decided to be open to graphic novels during the project, because each one that I've read so far has made me truly appreciate the story-telling in this genre. In conclusion, please read this book! It is amazing and I know you will love it.

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