Persepolis: The Story of an Iranian Childhood

Persepolis: The Story of an Iranian Childhood

Hardback Persepolis

By (author) Marjane Satrapi

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  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 20mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 22 May 2003
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224064401
  • ISBN 13: 9780224064408
  • Sales rank: 69,187

Product description

Wise, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, "Persepolis" tells the story of Marjane Satrapi's life in Tehran from the ages of 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 child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran's last emperor, Satrapi 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. Amidst the tragedy, Marjane's child's eye view adds immediacy and humour, and her story of a childhood at once outrageous and ordinary, beset by the unthinkable and yet buffered by an extraordinary and loving family, is immensely moving. It is also very beautiful; Satrapi's drawings have the power of the very best woodcuts.

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Author information

Marjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran. She grew up in Tehran, where she studied at the French school, before leaving for Vienna and then Strasbourg to study illustration. She has written several children's books and her commentary and illustrations appear in newspapers and magazines around the world, including the New Yorker and the New York Times. She is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning comic book autobiography in two parts, Persepolis and Persepolis 2. She currently lives in Paris.

Review quote

"Telling the story of Satrapi's childhood in Iran, this is funny, wise and sad." Stylist "This touching, funny, illuminating memoir deserves a much wider audience." -- Kate Figes Guardian "The magic of Marjane Satrapi's work is that it can condense a whole country's tragedy into one poignant, funny scene after another." -- Natasha Walter Independent on Sunday "Persepolis is a stylish, clever and moving weapon of mass destruction." -- David Jenkins Sunday Telegraph "Marjane Satrapi's books are a revelation. They're funny, they're sad, they're hugely readable. Most importantly, they remind you that the media sometimes tell you the facts but rarely tell you the truth. In one afternoon Persepolis will teach you more about Iran, about being an outsider, about being human, than you could learn from a thousand hours of television documentaries and newspaper articles. And you will remember it for a very long time." -- Mark Haddon

Editorial reviews

This striking graphic novel, reminiscent of Art Spiegelman's Maus, tells the story of the author's childhood with wit and insight. Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran in 1970 and grew up in a time of great upheaval for her country. Reza Shah, the father of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, had attempted to Westernise and modernise the country, beginning with the change of name from Persia to Iran in 1935. With the discovery of vast oil resources, Iran became not only very rich but also the object of considerable attention by the Western powers. When Reza Shah declared Iran a neutral zone at the beginning of the Second World War, the Allies invaded and Reza Shah was sent onto exile, and it was not until 1953 that his son, known simply as the Shah, returned to stay on the throne until 1979 when he fled the revolution. Marjane Satrapi was deeply aware of what was happening to her country as she grew up. She was suddenly forced to wear the veil and to be separated from her former friends at a French-run non-religious school who were considered decadent. Her parents were radical Marxists who were constantly in the forefront of the political turmoil that was tearing the country apart, and Marjane's home life was ordered by what was happening on the streets. Ordinary daily life ran alongside seismic changes to her country and its culture. The comic-strip format adds a huge poignancy to her child's eye view of growing up in a rigidly controlled society, a life that was alternately comic and hugely tragic. (Kirkus UK)