Book of the Month - Persepolis

This month's book is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi about her childhood and growing up in war ridden Iran during the Islamic revolution.  I normally don't like graphic/comic books, but I was drawn in because this was a story of the revolution told through the point of view of a little child. With all the wars and terror going on in the world  now, I thought it would be especially poignant to understand this or see this how a child does. And poignant it was. First of all, since it's graphic, it's a very fast read. So that's a plus too right? I'm really afraid I might be unable to continue book of the month just because of time constraints :-( Which means less reading-for-pleasure, which just sucks. Adulting.

Moving on.

To be very honest, at first glance it came off as childish and if it wasn't for my book club, I would have stopped reading it. But I'm glad I continued. It's a really heartwarming book that touches on a lot of important themes. I also like that she was able to tell the story from the point of view of her family, who were socialists and against the repression and war. Most times when we hear of the revolution, it's usually from the angle of extremists and fanatics. Also the childlike view gave the opportunity to see how ridiculous some aspects of the war were. For instance, all of a sudden asking all women to cover their heads either they liked it or not. Young Marji found it ridiculous.

I find that hers is another example of just how much our parents and upbringing influence us. She was conditioned to think that way because she came from a household where her mother was outspoken; her parents even protested. Not to mention that her grandfather and uncle were political prisoners. So she had been exposed to such environment. Her parents would often discuss with her and she would ask "tough" questions. She was taught to question what was wrong and stand for what was right.

Another thing that stands out is how much life goes on during a war. Life doesn't stop. Not even for a moment. They still had their family squabbles. They went on vacations. They hosted parties and had friends over. All through the course of the revolution. It really was their normal. And for a young child, that's not exactly ideal. It was their normal till a bomb was dropped on their street.

I don't want to spoil it for you. It's quite a good book. If for nothing, read it so you know not to judge an entire nation based on the wrongdoings of a few extremists. That has been never more important than it currently is.



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