My thoughts on Persepolis Book 1 and Book 2 by Marjane Satrapi. (Super Abridged)
Marjane Satrapi immediately became my favorite soon after I flipped through the first few pages of her comic-stripped autobiography. In Book 1, The Story of a Childhood, we meet young and grumpy Marjane, who is ten years old and visibly annoyed with her new uniform. She is friendly as she kindly introduces her friends and her "avant-garde" family to us. Even though I'm not well-versed in world History, I got to learn, surprisingly, a lot of things from this book which piqued my interest. The history of Iran doesn't feel like it has been forcefully used as a backdrop but instead it's shown through the eyes of this young girl who is experiencing it. It gave me chills while I read the incidences Marji goes through at a tender age. But it doesn't stop the inquisitive, young Satrapi from seeking answers- be it spiritually, through books or personal experiences. She explores human nature in surprising ways and objects to unjust practices. She educates herself by reading highly intellectual books and questions everything and anything.
Read this book if you love reading comics. Read this book if you love history. Read this book if want to enjoy dark-comedy. For I felt it was. Some of the gruesome incidences were depicted in a funny-not-so-funny way. Above all, read this book to see a war torn world through a young girl's eyes.
In Book 2, The Story of a Return, we travel from Iran to Vienna with young Marjane. It's a definite culture shock for the fourteen year old for obvious reasons. And she doesn't back out from enjoying all the privileges that she has been forced to refrain from back in her homeland. In Vienna, Marji goes through a series of devastating circumstances before returning to Iran, only to find herself in a more narrow and deeper pit. I won't tell you what becomes of her by the end of the book, for I shall stop discussing about this fabulous memoir in depth now.
Marjane is a good writer. She knows well how to mix wit and tragedy. Just like its predecessor, this book too has 19 chapters. There are a lot of things I'm going to take away from this book.