A breathtaking graphic novel, and animated film about a childhood.
I had the pleasure of being assigned an amazing graphic novel for my Modern Women Writers class, called Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. It was chilling, realistic, violent, heart-warming, but most of all, it opened my eyes to gender structures from a different perspective. Marjane Satrapi details her childhood growing up in Iran beginning in the 1979 with an Islamic revolution.
Newsweek ranked the book #5 on its list of the ten best fiction books of the decade. It has been praised as a literary marvel, but received just as much backlash from critics who claim its depiction of the Iran and Iraq war as inaccurate. Satrapi wrote an epic war story, wrapped in irony, and sprinkled with the nostalgia of a coming-of-age memoir.
Before this revolution, the main characters childhood appeared to be quite average. Marjane had loving parents who were liberal and by Iranian terms, were fair-weather muslims. After the revolution took to the streets demanding a more traditionalist Islamic government, her happy childhood turned dark.
I had the privilege of watching the French-language animated film last week. It was co-directed by author Satrapi with French comic artist Vincent Paronnaud. The entire story is told through the eyes of a sympathetic and real narrator. I felt so deeply for her, that was on the verge of tears when confronted with some of the more harsh truths of growing up female in a males world.