Author(s): Marjane Satrapi
Artist(s): Marjane Satrapi
Languages: French, English, German, Finnish, Italian, Indonesian, Greek, Romanian, Spanish, Czech, Polish, Danish, Swedish, Lithuanian, Slovenian, Thai, Hebrew, Japanese, Hungarian, Korean
Grade Level(s): 9-12
Mature Content?: Violence
Persepolis is an autobiographical account, telling the story of the Islamic Revolution in Iran through Satrapi’s eyes, as she grew up in Tehran. She loses freedoms and privileges, and eventually is forced to leave the country. Parts 1 and 2 focus on her childhood until the age of 14 when she fled in 1984, while parts 3 and 4 are Satrapi’s account of her life in Vienna and her eventual return to Iran as a university student later on, as well as the struggles and cultural shame she carries.
Persepolis would be excellent in a social studies or literature classroom. In a social studies context, the tale could work for larger themes like revolution, especially helping to contextualize the Islamic Revolution in Iran. More than that, though, it would be excellent to help students explore the role of women in other cultures, outsiders, and privilege (or lack thereof). And, Persepolis would also be an excellent text to help challenge any preconceived notions of what Iran is like, or was like that students may have. In an English or Literature class it could also be used for autobiography, and characterization of women and culture, as well.