[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]
Following Maus, Persepolis is a big name in modern graphic novels (comic books). It tells the story of Marjane Satrapi’s life growing up in Iran and Austria during the 1970s through 1990s. Her experiences teach us what it is like to grow up during a war and major social change. The Iran she grows up in and the one she returns to after going to high school in Austria are very different places.
This is a book to read if you are interested in the history of the Middle East. Or if you are interested in culture clash/culture shock. Or if you are interested in women’s rights. The strength of this book is that it offers an inside look on life in Iran. Satrapi’s perspective is quite different from what you read in the news, even though she narrates some of the same historical events that ended up in newspapers. Satrapi’s love of punk culture also shows in the punk/zine style art.
Check out the trailer for the movie version here: U.S. trailer: Persepolis (imdb.com)
Warning: There are a few pages discussing suicide and depression.
My two cents: This is a very long book, and I think the first part might be difficult to get into. I suggest skipping to the middle of the story and reading just a chapter or two from her time in Austria to try it out.