Satrapi uses decorous, simplistic black & white illustrations, humour, lyricism and witticisms to conjure up a memorable childhood. After all, Satrapi grew up in Iran, where the 1979 Islamic revolution imposed the veil and other stringent rules. The regime protesting parents, a grandmother, revolutionaries and god play an important part in Satrapi's imaginative, dreamy adolescent years.
Then comes the war with Iraq and even as things become grave, grim and threatening, a 14 year-old Satrapi is send to a French school in Austria by her concerned parents. Thus begins Satrapi's journey to adulthood, even as she hilariously describes her physical transformation. At first, Satrapi pretends to be French, but a overheard taunt makes her declare fiercely that she is an Iranian and proud of it. Then follows love, disillusion and a brush with death...Satrapi recreates her life, family, friends, lovers and enemies with mercurial craft. This is a book I love returning to.
Now there are two published versions of the book. One is a paperback edition that comprises of the entire book. The second version is in hardback and available in two volumes: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis: The Story of a Return. We would recommend the latter version for its durability.
While the 2007 animated movie version does not cover the entire book text, it is certainly watchable, co-directed by Satrapi herself. The movie review can be read here.
(Article by Snehith Kumbla)