Book of the Month: Persepolis

The Complete Persepolis

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Part of my motivation with this whole “Book of the Month” thing, as I explained, was to highlight female creators who may be overlooked or under-appreciated.

So why am I picking Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis? After all, you’ve probably read it. Your friend who knows nothing or cares nothing about comics has probably read it. Your mom (and no, that’s not a joke) has probably read it, or you’re thinking about giving it to her (I’m weird, but I do think it would make an excellent Mother’s Day gift).

And that’s actually why the book is pretty amazing to me. Like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, this is a comic that has managed to cross a lot of boundaries. It got attention from people who weren’t quite sure what to do with comics.

Also, it’s really good. Satrapi is cooler and smarter than just about anyone else (seriously — read interviews with her — she’s amazing) and her wit and honesty sparkles here. Her bold, graphic art is a perfect backdrop for her story, which is at turns funny and tragic. At its core, it’s about growing up and becoming a woman while never ignoring the realities of her life.

But I guess this isn’t so much a suggestion for you (because you’ve already read this, right?) as much as it is a suggestion for you to go suggest it to someone else who isn’t into comics. I think this work is one of the few that’s a perfect showcase of what this medium can do and do well.

(I was serious about that Mother’s Day thing.)

2 thoughts on “Book of the Month: Persepolis”

  1. It’s funny — the one time I had a conversation about this book, I was at a Superbowl party and while trying to shuffle the rest of my family out the door so the kids would get a vaguely reasonable night’s sleep, and a bevy of mothers was chatting in the hallway about books and Persepolis came up (also because, at that time, the animated feature was at the E Street Theatre downtown). I think my wife was shocked both that I had read something her friends had read and that her friends had read a graphic novel. :-P

    Zahra’s Paradise is a webcomic that’s going to be collected ultimately and, while it has a different story to be sure, certainly has some of the same themes. Worth checking out…

  2. I definitely am interested in Zahra’s Paradise. I also saw another graphic memoir about growing up in Iran in the bookstore but I immediately forgot the name and didn’t manage to find it online once I got home. So it’s sort of a growing trend.

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