Long black veil

Satrapi, M. (2003). Persepolis. New York: Pantheon.

Genre: Graphic novel

Intended audience: Mid- to older teens

persepolisPersonal reaction to the book: I enjoyed this. The art is done in a distinctive style, almost minimalist, and the black-and-white presentation adds to the tone of the book.

The subject matter is equally distinctive, telling the story of the author / illustrator as a girl growing up in Iran at the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamist state there. Readers are left with a sense that nothing is hidden, that this is a plain, unvarnished tale, although the author does not interrogate how her family came to a position of wealth and privilege under an autocratic ruler as closely as she probes the actions of those in power at a later stage.

While we are reading it as a young adult book, it can easily stand as an adult work. It shows the power of the graphic form to reduce a complex tale to its simplest elements.

Author facts: Satrapi has a Facebook page but no personal website. She speaks Farsi, French, English, Swedish, German and Italian. She lives in Paris, having been sent to Europe from Iran for boarding school at age 13.

Related website: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6238.Marjane_Satrapi

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