Marjane Satrapi’s memoir The Complete Persepolis is an honest look at growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Satrapi tells her story through the media of a graphic novel allowing her to depict her life not only through words but images. This is a coming of age story that starts with a girl going to high school in Vienna, far from home and being forced to work through her depression and feelings of isolation. After several years Satrapi returns to Iran but finds that her happiness is overshadowed by fundamentalist rules. Eventually, she discovers that she must exile herself from her homeland.
The characters are genuine and real; I especially love her free-thinking parents. You feel all of Satrapi’s emotions as she goes from being an adolescent to an adult. I thought the black and white child-like artwork suited the memoir – sometimes humorous while also covering serious issues. It was fascinating to learn about Iran’s history through the eyes of someone who’s lived it.