Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Review: The Story of a Return (Persepolis, #2) by Marjane Satrapi

The Story of a Return (Persepolis, #2) by Marjane Satrapi

A few months ago I read Persepolis #1 which I loved. I had never read a graphic book before last year, but I've now read 4 graphic memoirs, and loved them all. But these two most of all.

I know/knew next to nothing about Iran and its revolution. While I don't know a ton more about the raw facts, I feel like I do know a lot more about the societal and personal ramifications. At the very end of the first book, Marjane was sent to Austria to live with an aunt and cousin, as the streets of Tehran became increasingly dangerous. This coincided with high school and puberty, and it was a traumatic several years for Marjane. Her aunt and uncle fought, her cousin was a ditz, and Marjane was uncomfortable there. She was sent away to a boarding school which was another adjustment, and as she starts mid-year she has trouble fitting to to already calcified cliques. Her years in Austria were difficult, she started smoking pot, she got kicked out of school, she lived on the street for a while, and was rescued when she got bronchitis and started coughing up blood. She eventually came back to Iran, which had both changed a great deal, and yet hadn't.

At its heart, The Story of a Return is just a personal memoir, about growing up and falling in love and making bad decisions, but the fact that she grew up in this place and this time is what makes it truly fascinating, and not just a typical memoir (not that there's anything wrong with that!) Of course the format, a graphic memoir, also makes it special. Before I started reading these, I didn't get how they could improve upon the written word, but sometimes a picture can say so much more. I really have come around and want to keep reading graphic memoirs and even try a graphic novel. This book (and Persepolis 1) were just riveting. Here's one of my favorite parts:

1 comment:

Carina said...

I also love this book! Oddly enough, you chose the same panel to share as part of your review as I did in mine!