Dear Our Shared Shelf,
Our next book will be Persepolis, a graphic novel that serves as the memoir of the author, Marjane Satrapi. It's about a bold and brave young woman and her experiences in 1980s Iran.
Persepolis was first published in French in 2003 and like Art Spiegelman's Maus (which was about the Holocaust and was the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize) is now widely considered a classic of the graphic novel form.
Satrapi grew up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and its aftermath; Persepolis is the story of her childhood. Through Marji's youthful (though not-always-innocent) eyes and mind, we see a turbulent moment in history unfold, and we witness the tremendous impact that local and global events and politics can have on even the most intimate moments of personal lives. We experience with Marji her day-to-day dreams and struggles, from family strife to wrestling with religious faith and custom. We're swept up in her parents' anxieties and her grandmother's memories of an utterly different era. And we get a very real sense of what it was like to be a woman in Iran during this intense time of cultural and political transition.
As Iran enters another important period of change, with relations re-opening with much of the world, I think this is a particularly good time to pick up Persepolis. Satrapi's deceptively simple, almost whimsical drawings belie the seriousness and rich complexity of her story--but it’s also very funny too.
I’m excited to hear what you think.