Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Persepolis 1 & 2

After the non-fiction on Iran and the Holocaust,
i needed something a little lighter,
and ever the literary hook-up, Sarah once again provided with .. yet more non-fiction about Iran, but this time in comic-book form! So much easier on the spirit. Persepolis 1 & 2 are comic books by Marjane Satrapi which tell the true story of her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979, adolescence in exile in Vienna, and return to Iran in the late 80s. Persepolis 1 covers the childhood and beginning of exile, and 2 covers the rest. While they're both excellent books, the first was a lot more interesting because it dealt more with topics i'm unfamiliar with: namely seeing one's nation internally overtaken by religious extremists. 2 technically had more action perhaps, but it's the familiar themes of adolescent isolation, frustration, sex and drugs, etc. All in all tho, these books are excellent. The first one is successfully told from the viewpoint of a child of eight or so thru early adolescence. The events of the adult world are filtered thru this viewpoint: her uncle's death as a revolutionary has significance only to the degree by which her uncle is a more romantic figure than her friends' uncles, for example. Or how the sudden requirement that all women wear The Veil (which was actually outlawed in the 40s, then required with the rise of extremism, required in the late 70s.) affected a teenage Satrapi mostly in how it prevented her from dressing in the latest western fashions: Torn jeans, leather jackets, etc. Imagine trying to be a punker while wearing the veil!

Anyhow, the books are very well-done personal and political history.


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