Marjane Satrapi, The Complete Persepolis

It took me a while to get used to the graphic format of Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical Persepolis in which she tells the story of her childhood in revolutionary Iran and her adolescence in staid Vienna and eventual return to Iran. I’m still not sure I LOVE the format, but I did really like the book, and I appreciated that Satrapi was always fairly unsparing of herself and her own behavior (which, sometimes, was a bit reprehensible!)

I did wonder, at the end, though, how young people who don’t come from the privileged background of Satrapi’s family felt about the religious regime and its draconian rules. Were poorer families – who could not afford to send their sons abroad to escape obligatory military service – more or less bitter about the Iran-Iraq war? Did they accept the regime’s version (that their sons were martyrs) or did they yearn to speak the truth as well? All interesting questions that I hope further reading will help me to parse.

(Read from May 4-May 5, 2010)

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