Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Marjane Satrapi

Iranian-born Marjane Satrapi was 10 years old when the shah of Iran was deposed, and she spent the next five years living under the regime of the Islamic revolution before being sent to school in Europe by her secular family. She captures the terror of her childhood, both under the shah and under the ayatollahs, in this illustrated narrative that is an eyewitness account of events, from the enforcement of the veil to the devastation of the Iran-Iraq war. Like Art Spiegelman’s Maus and the lesser-known Citizen 13660, Satrapi uses the graphic-novel form to traverse the serious territory of the memoir, and she does it in a spellbinding fashion. Of course, people who dismiss graphic novels as mere “comic books” will never know what they’re passing up.