Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis, Volume 1 (Persepolis, #1)

I really enjoyed the tone of Satrapi’s writing….a combination of harsh truth and the quirky humour of a young teenager.  Whether Satrapi has written this memoir as a young woman or older, she remembers accurately what it was like to appear fundamentalist in her public life but to be a rebellious teenager in her personal life.  I found it to be educational to read this book because the voice was so accessible. I’m sure that the students in my secondary school library would feel the same way.  Her black and white illustrations filled with paradoxes between modern life and religious expectations are also nuanced with symbolism yet are invitational to the deeper subject matter.

 

I was particularly surprised to learn about the different Shiite rituals surrounding virginity and death for both males and females.  The book forced me to reflect on what I know about Iran and here are my 3 major influences before reading Persepolis:  1) The movie Argo, 2) being a fan of Jian Ghomeshi and 3) having taught a couple of students from Iran while I was working for the Peel Board of Education.  Then I was sitting eating breakfast in Connecticut this morning and this news story came on the news: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/nyregion/bands-intensity-and-promise-drew-fans.html?_r=0  It seems that the religious extremism in Iran is still enough to chase out anyone who speaks up against it.


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