Marjane Satrapi on the “Axis of Evil,” Cheese, and Exploring Family History
Marjane Satrapi changed my reading life. Before I picked up Persepolis, her fabulous autobiographical debut about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, I had little clue what graphic novels were. Sure, I had seen some of the manga books filled with too-cute, overly round-eyed characters, but I was convinced those were just for kids. I hadn’t moved beyond the image of Marvel comics – Superman, Spiderman, Archie and Veronica – and that was the extent of my knowledge.
When Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood first appeared stateside in April 2003, it was already a major bestseller in France, where it was originally published – which is also where Satrapi has lived for the last 13 years. Satrapi’s deceptively simple black-and-white images, paired with her candid dialogue bubbles, speak volumes. Her stark comics depict her life as an outspoken young girl living a bewildered existence in Tehran amidst political and social turmoil, protected by her nurturing, liberal parents. The great-granddaughter of a Persian emperor, Satrapi recalls her temporary stint as a 6-year-old prophet for a god who happens to resemble Karl Marx, and remembers her beloved uncle who was murdered by the “authorities.” …[click here for more]
Author interview: The Bloomsbury Review, May/June 2007
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2003, 2005 (United States)