Current AffairsPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


Unlike my dear friend C, I’m not a big re-reader. It’s just not something I do — in fact only once have I re-read a book (A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and I read it again as soon as I finished it for the first time, I kid you not).

What I do like to do is return to books at certain moments. A flick back to particular parts at times when I either need them or they somehow come back into my mind. And, right now, Persepolis by @marjane__satrapi couldn’t be more pertinent.

The daughter of Marxists and the great granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor, Satrapi’s visually stunning memoir (flick through for her incredible graphics) of her childhood in Iran is quite simply, magnificent and haunting at the same time. We learn, through young Marjane’s eyes, what happened when the Shah was overthrown and the new Islamic regime took over the country; veils and single gender schools for a start as what is to come becomes ever-frighteningly clear. Let me put it this way, my husband who is very much *not* a reader thinks this one is bloody brilliant.

Now I’m not going to go into a detailed account of what’s happening in Iran at the moment. You’ll most likely know that the horrifying death of Mahsa Amini has sparked protests and outcry in the country and across the globe. Indeed, scroll through to the end for the hugely moving illustration of Hadis Najafi, 23, shot dead who took to the streets and spoke out against the morality police about the hijab mandate. Now, schoolgirls across Iran are removing their hijabs in and out of the classroom, in protest. 

Books like Persepolis teach us history in the most moving and unforgettable ways, history that we, in the UK are not always taught in our classrooms. As we watch the news unfurl around us, Persepolis reminds us of that past and the unshakeable importance of the fight for freedom. 

Beautiful and original, it’ll make you laugh and probably cry. I wholeheartedly recommend this — and more than that, I would absolutely urge that you read this as soon as you can ~ S

Order your copy here.

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