Zahra's Paradise by Amir

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Set in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent elections of 2009, Zahra’s Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young protestor who has vanished into an extrajudicial twilight zone. What’s keeping his memory from being obliterated is not the law. It is the grit and guts of his mother, who refuses to surrender her son to fate, and the tenacity of his brother, a blogger, who fuses tradition and technology to explore and explode the void in which Mehdi has vanished.

Zahra’s Paradise weaves together fiction and real people and events. As the world witnessed the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent elections, through YouTube videos, on Twitter, and in blogs, this story came into being. The global response to this gripping tale has been passionate—an echo of the global outcry during the political upheaval of the summer of 2009.


Zahra’s Paradise is a first on the internet, a first for graphic novels, and a first in the history of political dissidence. Zahra’s Paradise is being serialized online.


Zahra’s Paradise is a Publishers Weekly Best Comics title for 2011.


About Amir

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Amir is an Iranian-American human rights activist, journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has lived and worked in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Afghanistan. His essays and articles have appeared far and wide in the press. Khalil's work as a fine artist has been much praised. He has been cartooning since he was very young. Zahra's Paradise is his first graphic novel. Both Amir and Khalil have chosen to remain anonymous for political reasons.
Published September 13, 2011 by First Second. 272 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Computers & Technology, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Zahra's Paradise

Publishers Weekly

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This collected web comic resembles Persepolis in its loathing for the current Iranian regime, but these creators (anonymous for political reasons) focus their story via an urgent crisis within one family, as young Mehdi’s mother and brother search for him after he vanishes during the government...

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Zahra's Paradise

Graphic Novel Reporter

Zahra’s Paradise derives its name from the cemetery just outside of town, one named for an ancient mother.

Jan 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Zahra's Paradise

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