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Persepolis 2


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Sequel to the critically acclaimed Persepolis- the story of Marjane's challenging adolescence as a high-school student in Austria and later as a Western-influenced young art student in Iran.

About the Author

Marjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran. She grew up in Tehran, where she studied at the French school, before leaving for Vienna and Strasbourg to study illustration. She currently lives in Paris and regularly contributes illustrations to newspapers and magazines internationally, including The New Yorker. She is the author of several children's books, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir Persepolis.


Satrapi's first Persepolis book, chronicling her life as a child in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq, was one of the best and most widely praised graphic novels of 2003. This second volume picks up the story as she arrives in Vienna to attend high school and recounts her difficult, though not friendless, assimilation into a far more liberal culture. She's stung by prejudice and shocked when her friends first engage in casual sex. When she returns to her homeland, she faces another culture shock, as her now-entrenched free-thinking attitude makes acceptance of everyday repression even tougher. Feeling like a woman without a country, she must decide where her future lies. As with the first volume, Satrapi's simple drawings are very effective, and the story is laced with humor and surprising instances of Western infiltration of Eastern culture. Satrapi movingly portrays the love and wisdom of her parents, who are determined to let her live her own life, and of her grandmother, who reproaches her when she strays too far. Like the first volume, this remarkable memoir is highly recommended for older teens and adults. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/04.] Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Part one of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel found her surviving war, the Islamic Revolution, religious oppression and the execution of several close friends. If part two covers less traumatic events, it's also more subtle and, in some ways, more moving. Sent by her liberal, intellectual parents from Tehran to Vienna to get an education and escape the religious police, rebellious but vulnerable teenage Satrapi learns about secular freedom's pitfalls. Struggling in school, falling in with misfits and without a support group, she ends up dealing drugs for a boyfriend and eventually finds herself homeless on the streets. Forced to return to Iran, Satrapi must once again take up the veil, but learns to live within the constraints of her native land, which border on the surreal. For instance, while Satrapi's racing to catch a bus, the religious police tell her to stop running so her bottom doesn't make "obscene" movements. "Well, then, don't look at my ass!" she angrily responds. The book's cornerstone is her relationship with her parents, who seem to have enough faith in her to let her make the wrong decisions, as when she marries an egotistical artist. Satrapi's art is deceptively simple: it's capable of expressing a wide range of emotion and capturing subtle characterization with the bend of a line. Poignant and unflinching, this is a universally insightful coming-of-age story. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-In Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon, 2003), Satrapi vividly described her early life in Iran. This second installment covers the period after the 1979 Revolution when, at 14, she was sent to Vienna for a freer education than that allowed in her newly fundamentalist country. At first, the distinct differences in her life were overwhelming and exciting. During the next four years, she made new friends, some very liberal and some quite conservative, had several relationships, became increasingly aware of the sexual freedom of her new milieu, and even dealt drugs for a boyfriend. Eventually, she ended up living on the streets. She became ill and returned home, a somewhat liberated 18-year-old in a repressive land. She married, mistakenly thinking that would allow her freedom, and graduated from art school. At the end of this volume, feeling out of place in her homeland and unhappy in her marriage, she has divorced and is preparing to move to France with the blessing of her understanding parents. (A third volume is soon to be translated.) Satrapi's simple-seeming, black-and-white drawings add a surprisingly expressive depth to her already compelling story. Teens will appreciate this memoir on many levels, identifying with the feelings of alienation and misunderstanding, if not the actual events. Young people who have had to flee to new environments will identify even more.-Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

In an industry in which female artists can still be counted on the fingers of a yakuza's hand, her deceptively simple and acutely observed black and white memoirs deserve a wide audience -- Dominic Wells * The Times *
Like Maus, Persepolis is one of those comic books capable of seducing even those most allergic to the genre... The author's masterstroke is to allow us to experience history from within her family, with irony and tenderness. * Liberation *
I cannot praise enough Marjane Satrapi's moving account of growing up as a spirited young girl in revolutionary and war-time Iran. Persepolis is disarming and often humorous but ultimately it is shattering. -- Joe Sacco

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