Cartoons and comic strips bring out the child in me. I enjoy reading them as well as have a good hearty laugh. But when I found Persepolis in my E-Library collection (I have collected many books over the last few years and was struggling to find time to read them) and started reading it, I realized I am reading a new genre – the graphic novel. A graphic novel presents the story in a comic strip format which is at the same time a long fictional work. What made Persepolis different is that it is not only graphic but is also autobiographical. This has made the narration in first person even more authentic and real. Besides her choice of opting for this format has aided her to use the graphics along with the text – a powerful medium to convey the trials and tribulations, her struggles as well as tumultuous experiences.
I had read about the the pro-American stance of the Shah of Iran, the subsequent Islamic revolution, the deposition of the Shah of Iran and the coming into power of Ayatollah Khomeini who established Islamic rule with the interest of a History buff. However, that did not prepare me for what I read about being in Iran during those troubled times. Marjane Satrapi’s first hand experience of life in civil war torn Iran is heartbreaking and poignant.
The wild longing of a child to be free is curtailed and thwarted… The travails of a teenager growing up in a strife torn region is so alien to most of us… The aching pain of growing up as a child in a completely repressed society is something that those who have not experienced will ever understand. We take so much for granted, one of the starkest paradoxes of life, is brought to fore when we read accounts like Satrapi’s.
The throbbing agony of life in a war torn country is narrated with such stark vividness that it makes this beautiful graphic novel a most compelling read.
Five Stars to this awesome book! Do read it folks!!