Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Using graphic novel format, Satrapi recalls her time as an Iranian child during the country’s multiple violent regime changes. For Satrapi, life is dangerous, as she embodies everything the hyper-religious new government abhors: independence and free thinking. Though the book is over ten years old, readers will still find it extremely relevant, as it sheds personal light on the conflict in the Middle East, and explores such themes as feminism, religious fanaticism, fear, and, ultimately, sacrifice.

If you’re like me and don’t know a lot about the conflict in the Middle East, Persepolis is a good place to gain some knowledge. As it’s a graphic novel (comic book), it makes for a pretty easy read, and the illustrations help make characters believable and relatable. Additionally, the author does a good job of providing some background information on Iran and how the country got to its current state of violence and religious rule. Through her personal story of living in Iran, Marjane shows readers that Iran is not a country full of extremists — rather, the citizens of Iran find themselves caught under repressive governments, unable to exercise the freedoms that other countries enjoy. The memoir is an eye-opener for sure. A quick, but powerful read that gives insight into an often unfamiliar and stereotyped world.

Rating: 4/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS), click here.

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