Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Story of a Childhood

82%

28 Critic Reviews

“Persepolis” is a rarity
-NY Times

Synopsis

A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine Best Comix of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller
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.
 

About Marjane Satrapi

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Marjane Satrapi was born in Rasht, Iran. She now lives in Paris, where she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers throughout the world, including "The New Yorker, "and "The New York Times." She is the author of "Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, "and several children's books. She cowrote and codirected the animated feature film version of "Persepolis.
 
Published June 1, 2004 by Pantheon. 160 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Persepolis
All: 28 | Positive: 26 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Kristin Hohenadel on Jan 01 2008

“Persepolis” is a rarity

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Guardian

Good
on Apr 25 2008

Superbly elegant... Persepolis

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Guardian

Good
on Nov 07 2004

Satrapi has a disarming voice and her drawings are as packed as Persian miniatures, but it is her uncensorable honesty that makes her work so challenging and so pleasurable to read.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent

Powerfully understated, this work joins other memoirs—Spiegelman's Maus and Sacco's Safe Area Goradze—that use comics to make the unthinkable familiar.

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Blog Critics

Above average
on Feb 01 2007

Satrapi's work is touching, but there is a continual sense that you haven't seen the big picture.

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Examiner

Good
on Apr 02 2012

I was utterly blown away by this.

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Book Reporter

Good
on Mar 31 2003

While Satrapi's artistic technique tends toward the spare, she wrings every possible emotion out of each drawing.

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AV Club

Above average
on Sep 07 2004

It's a far more difficult book than Persepolis. A child who lets her harsh environment interfere with her empathy for others is understandable and tragic, but an adult with the same problem borders on distressing solipsism.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
on Jan 09 2008

Multigenerational accessibility . . . Cool young girls will love this — as will grown-ups wise enough to absorb the truth of the wise women's movement slogan ''The personal is political.''

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Tim Robey on Apr 25 2008

A tragi-comic account of growing up in Iran has infuriated the authorities there, but it's a consummate delight.

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Booklist Online

Good
Reviewed by Ray Olson on Jan 01 2008

Satrapi’s cursive, geometrical drawing style, reminiscent of the great children’s author-artist Wanda Gag’s, eloquently conveys her ingenuousness and fervor as a child.

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Jesse Pohlman on Feb 14 2013

Satrapi's story humanizes an often-dehumanized society, while revealing that it is still incredibly flawed.

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Allie Tetreault on Dec 07 2010

The simplicity of the drawings is what causes most critics to cringe . . . However, by juxtaposing such simple images next to blunt images of war, Satrapi illustrates the sheer clarity of horror and fear.

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca Sue on Mar 10 2009

Achieves far greater meaning than if Satrapi were to address the issue of religion directly.

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PopMatters

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Tan on Nov 11 2003

Persepolis is a very timely novel for today. As our society is continuingly putting up boundaries and constructing ideas of “ingroups and outgroups”, it is important to realize and understand the effects on the present.

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The Daily Beast

Excellent
Reviewed by David Ansen on Dec 08 2008

A wonderful spirit—defiant, funny, tender, self-mocking—suffuses "Persepolis."

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Common Sense Media

Above average
Reviewed by Sandie Angulo Chen on Jan 26 2008

Like Art Spiegelman's seminal Holocaust-themed graphic novel Maus, Persepolis explains history from the point of view of one family.

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Blogger News Network

Good
on Mar 07 2007

Comic book or graphic novel, it’s the best way to see history.

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Spirituality & Practice

Excellent

This autobiographical masterpiece registers on the senses as funny, sad, melancholy, horrific, and hopeful in its examination of one individual's quest for the holy grail of freedom.

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Time Out New York

Good
on Apr 30 2008

‘Persepolis’ is realism seen through special eyes . . . delightful, curious.

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CNN.com

Good
Reviewed by Tom Charity on Jan 01 2011

'Persepolis' is glorious.

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Socialist Review

Above average

The simplistic black and white style of the graphic novel belies a richness of emotion, creating an absorbing narrative.

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Slant Magazine

Good
on Aug 27 2007

Gorgeous, accomplished, stirring work.

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CBC News

Above average
Reviewed by Rachel Giese on Sep 12 2008

Taking inspiration from Art Spiegelman’s magnum opus Maus, Persepolis’s deceptively simple illustrations and rich dialogue zing with political barbs and pop culture references.

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Comic Book Resources

Good
Reviewed by Laura Sneddon on Oct 24 2011

The illustration style is iconic; sharp, black and white, simple drawings, very little facial detail, occasional exaggeration and frequent trips into the imaginary and surrealist mind of the young protagonist.

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Graphic Novel Reporter

Good
Reviewed by John Hogan on Jan 01 2008

The stark black-and-white illustrations, so definite yet so emotive at the same time, powerfully bear this out.

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Teen Ink

Good

Satrapi provides intriguing and funny commentary on the events of the revolution.

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Gather Books

Good
Reviewed by Rick S. on Jan 09 2010

Much of what Satrapi experiences is the same for teenagers everywhere, and the mix of the familiarity and the surreal is what gives this story much of its power.

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Reader Rating for Persepolis
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 572 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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