Book - 2003
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A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Magazine "Best Comix of the Year"
A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane's child's-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, c2003
Edition: 1st American pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9780375714573
Branch Call Number: GN 955.054092 Satra 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 153 p. :,ill


From Library Staff

The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life. A reflective and sobering autobiographical comic.

Translated from the French

In 2013, Persepolis was removed from classrooms in Chicago Public Schools. Objections: Scenes of torture and Islamic content. In 2014, the book was challenged three more times: In Oregon, Illinois and Texas. Persepolis eventually landed at #2 on the American Library Association’s top 10 list of f... Read More »

Blind Date book 2020. Also, banned: In 2013, Persepolis was removed from classrooms in Chicago Public Schools. Objections: Scenes of torture and Islamic content. In 2014, the book was challenged three more times: In Oregon, Illinois and Texas. Persepolis eventually landed at #2 on the American L... Read More »

In 2013, Persepolis was removed from classrooms in Chicago Public Schools. Objections: Scenes of torture and Islamic content. In 2014, the book was challenged three more times: In Oregon, Illinois and Texas. Persepolis eventually landed at #2 on the American Library Association’s top 1... Read More »

From the critics

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Nov 18, 2020

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis is a captivating memoir of Satrapi’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of the 1970s. Published in a graphic novel form, the memoir captures Satrapi's innocence and the whirlwind of events and ideologies that she was surrounded by. With the intention of persuading her readers that Iran isn’t a country of “fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism”, Satrapi focuses on her and her parents’ role in the revolution as activists, and the sculpting of her ideologies through her experiences. Persepolis is far from a mundane reading experience and is not only a story of a brave girl who fought the tyranny of her government during her youth, but is also an informative recollection that sheds light on the truth which is often warped by Western nations. I recommend this novel for readers ages 13+ and rate it 5/5 stars. My only critic is that this novel is much too short. @ilovefood of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

caleherreman Sep 21, 2020

This is the story of a childhood contemporaneous with mine, but under immensely different circumstances. Marjane Satrapi presents a clear-eyed vision of her upbringing in a very difficult time in her native Iran's history. She comes from a family of intellectuals and dissidents, who go from oppression under the Shah's regime to oppression under the Ayatollah Khomenei's Islamic Republic. As she is growing up, around her is war, summary executions, and gangs running the streets enforcing 'virtue.' Her parents' purchase of a Kim Wilde poster for her on a trip abroad becomes an adventure in smuggling.

In the end, this is a heartbreaking story of the lengths parents will go to for their children.

JCLMaggieS Sep 15, 2020

I cherish Persepolis. Marji is coming of age in revolutionary Iran, a willful young girl with a prophet complex raised reading Marx cartoons and learning about dialectical materialism. Her reflections witnessing systemic abuse, public protests, and loved ones martyred for freedom are impassioned and nerving, written with the wisdom and simplicity of youth.

Jan 27, 2020

A compelling memoir of what it's like to grow up in an oppressive society where religion and the political system are one and the same. (Spoiler alert: it's mostly not very fun.) Rich black and white illustrations.

Nov 06, 2019

The book Persepolis is a far cry from my preferred genre of non-fiction fantasy. And perhaps that’s just as well considering I read it for school. But nonetheless, it’s a well done book, especially considering it’s a graphic novel. It follows the author, Marjane Satrapi’s life, following the Iranian dictatorship regime, the following theocracy and war, and how she and her family lived through it.
It’s full of symbolism and metaphors, which is really interesting, and it improves the enjoyment of reading if you notice them, else I’m just imagining things from my repeated analyses of the book. It’s not for people like me, who don’t enjoy slow or fiction stories, despite it being less factual and more about Marjane’s familial and mental struggles in her childhood. The book is not really graphically appealing, as it kind of finds a weird and uncomfortable mix between complete cartooning, and more realistic drawings.
I honestly don’t think I do recommend it, just because of my own personal preferences, and I generally consider myself a fan of graphic novels. That’s not, however, to say it’s a bad book, I think it’s well done, just not my cup of tea, didn’t like it. Personal opinion: don’t read it. From a reviewing point of view: 3/5.
@Xeno of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Oct 05, 2019

Wonderful memoir. I actually liked the art style, which everyone else seems to be put off by. The mix of tragedy and humor reminded me of MAUS.

Sep 29, 2019

Best memoir 🙏🏼👌🏻👌🏻 In graphic style. It is written in funny way. 🙏🏼.

I loved this graphic novel so much that I bought it. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve been told that it is just the moving version of the book – exactly the same. It details Marjane Satrapi’s childhood, from the age of six to fourteen, in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. (submitted by JF)

Oct 09, 2018

This book help me understand the negative Islamic rule with the simple perspective of a modern youth.

Aug 27, 2018

This is a review of The Complete Persepolis.

The artwork in The Complete Persepolis is okay, but Marjane's personal account more than makes up for it. And as far as I'm concerned, if the narrative > artwork, it's a win for me. One could argue that Persepolis wouldn't work if the drawings were too neat or more elegant. The tone would likely suffer.

As for the story, it's surprisingly down to earth. There's a revolution going on but from Marjane's viewpoint it's very day-to-day. When reading Persepolis try to notice how even though the places are foreign for many of us they only seem foreign if Marjane feels like a fish out of water. For example, her childhood in Iran feels normal-ish despite a war going on around her. Conversely, her return to Iran as a young adult feels completely alien precisely because Mariane feels like she's not of the culture anymore. Intended or not, this touch of POV verisimilitude, more than anything else, likely propelled Persepolis to becoming an international success.

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Jun 23, 2016

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 15, 2015

mauve_dogfish_10 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 26, 2015

red_rat_135 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 21, 2014

shreya_narla thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 10, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices
Jun 23, 2016

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Depicts war time/death

Jun 23, 2016

Coarse Language: minor swears

Feb 10, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Feb 10, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Feb 10, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add a Summary
Jun 23, 2016

This is a graphic novel from the perspective of a young girl living in Iran during the time of the Iranian War, and the changing of regimes during that time. the change from modernity to Islamic law. This novel deals with the issues that this girl faces and her subsequent departure to Austria.

deelitch Dec 14, 2014

Iran.. in graphic comic book style, from the viewpoint of a young girl growing up in Tehran. Brilliant.

Ninja_Kevin Jun 03, 2012

I have recently finished a book called, "Persepolis" by Satrapi Marjane, a memoir. In this book the protagonist is Marji, she is a young girl who lives with her parents. Her parents would go into the streets at night and protest with others that have the same race as her because they didn’t like how they were treated and etc. The setting which it mostly took place is in Iran. Marji has to whear this veil in school, so they started a cultural revolution in Iran so that is when her parents started to protest in the streets.

EPLPicks_Teen Mar 30, 2010

Memoir told in comic-strip format of Marjane's girlhood in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution.


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