Marjane Satrapi , takes us through her growing up years in Iran, during the revolution, the war with Iraq and the post war building of an Islamic state of Iran. Originally published as two parts, this book consolidates both into one. The first part is her early childhood until her journey out of the country to Austria for studies. The second part is her Austrian years and her return to the new Iran, her life and friends , marriages until her second ( and final) leaving of Iran to France.
Satrapi, looks back at the years of revolution and the war, she remember as a young girl living with her 'leftists' parents. He recalls many of her relatives, fathers and brothers of her friends being in jail and even takes a bit of pride in the facts. He parents are also participate in demonstrations, and the discussion at home are also leads her to believe in the fight for justice. A rebel, is already born. The crackdowns by the fundamentalists made the life of her ( veils , parties ) difficult and her parents decides to sent her away from Tehran until the war is over. Thus starts her new life in Austria, as a student.
Life in Austria is different. Often fighting with the Convent Matrons and the land ladies, she end up out in the open. She had to spend her time and night with the homeless people. Despair and homesick, she wanted to comeback to Iran to her parents. Her time in Austria also made profound effect in her life. The "empty roads" , gay room mates, her boyfriend who discovers that he is also a gay, different family life and bonding, loneliness ..
But the days after return was also not great. After the initial happiness and attention, the real Iran under the regime has opened up in front of her. Slowly the disappointment sets in. While she enrols in an arts college and befriends and marry her boyfriend, the isolation from this world ( with the family, friends and partner) is obvious , ending up in her leaving of Iran again.
Graphics books have the ability to communicate with mere sketches and minimum words. She uses them to a great effect in this book. The drawings are in Black & White , simple without any surroundings and features. Many long shots, fewer close ups and very clear and non complex. This book has been now made into a motion picture.
Persepolis - The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return
Marjane Satrapi ( written & illustrated)
Translated by Mattias Ripa ( first part) & Blake Ferris ( second part)