Another of my pre-trip reads, I’d put this on my Amazon wish list for Christmas, and Rachel had come up trumps. What I’d not anticipated was that the two volumes of Marjane Satrapi’s autobiography contained in Persepolis come in black and white comic strip form. That made for a speedy read, but one that had more immediate impact than Neither East Nor West, and one that documented and illustrated the experience of an Iranian girl/woman born the same year as I was with a huge amount of honesty.
In The Story of a Childhood, Marjane Satrapi tells how (pre-)teenage years take her from middle class affluence in Tehran through the Revolution and Iran-Iraq war and the impact they had on her life and that of her family and friends, to life in the West – where adolescent Marjane turns to drink and drugs and ends up living rough on the streets of 1980s Vienna.
In The Story of a Return, we see more of Tehran in the 1990s as Marjane matures from her teens to her twenties, studies art and marries, gets a job as an illustrator and divorces finally leaving Iran in 1994 to study in France. All before she was 25.
Amazon.co.uk link: Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi