I must admit I read this, the second installment of Satrapi's illustrated autobiography, before reading the first
. Without the full premise of how she left her native country of Iran for Europe, it was easy to think that I had found a interesting connection with the memoirs of an Iranian girl that any loner American teenager could relate to, complete with all the punk rock music, attitude, and drugs that confirm an alienated adolescence. However, Satrapi's story is much more intense and unlike any other because there is real grief, repression, murder, and ghosts in this book. Satrapi's story is haunting. It would eat at you if it wasn't for the simple and humorous line drawings which humanize and mitigate her journeys. This is the same successful technique of illustrated storytelling that Art Spiegelman
and Joe Sacco
have perfected, reminding us in a palatable and artful way the disturbing realities of our times. And Satrapi has got a bold and sassy mouth like no one else.