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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

dizzyalien, January 1, 2010

Satrapi's autobiography about growing up during Iran's Islamic revolution was one of the few books of the last decade that has haunted me, long after I had finished it. Like many stories about childhood, it manages to be funny, cruel, and innocent all at once; but through her graphic narrative Satrapi also shows how the revolution brutalized her educated, liberal family, who ironically opposed the rule of the Shah and supported the revolution.

Persepolis also humanizes current events in Iran, which Americans tend to view through memories of the "Iranian hostage crisis," and media coverage of President Ahmadinejad's policies and statements. If it hasn't become clear through the present Green movement in Tehran, it should be known that Muslim extremism isn't the only voice of the Iranian people. I'm glad some colleges and schools are now assigning this book as a common reader: it offers a counterpoint to common U.S. stereotypes of Iran and its people.
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