Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood

by

Author: Marjane Satrapi

Title: Persepolis

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 153

Geographical Setting: Iran

Time Period: 1970s-1980s

Plot Summary: This graphic-novel memoir of Marjane Satrapi’s girlhood inIran during the Cultural Revolution contrasts the universality of the coming-of-age experience with the fear and chaos of life amid war and revolution. Through stark black-and-white illustrations, the hope, terror, and despair of life under the revolution and the daily growth of a bright young girl is conveyed with sensitivity and humor.

 Subject Headings: Iran, Cultural Revolution, Coming-of-Age Stories, Graphic Novels

 Appeal: character-centered, coming-of-age, humorous, atmospheric, thought-provoking, detailed setting, complex, multilayered, introspective

 3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Character-centered, complex, thought-provoking

 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

This memoir of an English teacher in Tehran and her clandestine book group is a thought-provoking, character-centered, and atmospheric exploration of women’s lives and relationships with each other and with a country that they both love and fear.

Saffron Sky: a Life Between Iran and America by Gelareh Asayesh

Switching between the present, when the author is a mother living in the United States, and the past, when she was a girl in Iran, this memoir explores the growth of one woman as she navigates the complexities of existing within and between cultures.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

This coming-of-age memoir of a boy growing up in Wisconsin contemplatively explores American culture, first love, religion, and the difficulties of being different. Like Persepolis, this memoir is told in graphic novel format.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

A coming-of-age novel about an aspiring cartoonist that includes his drawings, this is the story of a boy trapped between two worlds: that of the reservation on which he lives, and the all-white high school he attends.  Bittersweet, thought-provoking, and introspective, this novel will appeal to fans of the tone of Persepolis.

American-Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Another coming-of-age graphic novel, this series of interwoven stories featuring the Monkey King, a sitcom character named Chin-Kee, and the high-school life of the narrator shows the difficulties of coming of age and self-acceptance of a teenager caught between cultures.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

This graphic novel features two cynical, urban teenage girls in eight interconnected stories. Although less introspective than Persepolis, this is the coming-of-age story of two teens whose cynicism and intelligence will remind readers of Marjane.

Name: Shelley

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