Persepolis (2000) by Marjane Satrapi Review

Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis depicts a young Iranian girl’s life during the Iranian Revolution. Persepolis depicts a volatile time in history and explores identity, resilience, and the human spirit through its strong narrative, captivating artwork, and smart storytelling.

Short Story

The 340-page graphic novel Persepolis is not a short story. It can be broken into various small storylines or vignettes that tell Marjane Satrapi’s life from childhood to young adulthood. Two volumes cover different periods of Marjane’s life.

Marjane’s upbringing and early adolescence in Iran in the late 1970s and early 1980s are the focus of the first book. It follows her struggles in a country undergoing significant political and cultural change. The second volume follows her as she studies in Europe and discovers her identity as an Iranian woman abroad. Each vignette in the books covers a specific incident or phase in Marjane’s life, giving readers a close look into her life.


Persepolis is a graphic memoir/autobiographical novel. It blends graphic novel storytelling with autobiographical, coming-of-age, and historical commentary. The author can express her personal experiences and thoughts visually and emotionally in this genre. Marjane Satrapi uses words and images to depict her life, family, and country during a turbulent time in Iranian history.

Main Characters

The protagonist of Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi. Marjane, the author and heroine, shares her thoughts, feelings, and experiences as she grows from a vibrant and precocious youngster to a confident young lady. Readers can relate to her struggle since she is relatable and compassionate.

Other characters in the book include Marjane’s parents, grandmother, friends, and others she meets. These characters shape Marjane’s worldview and evolution, adding variety to the narrative with their different opinions and experiences.

Writing Style

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis prose is simple, honest, and emotive. Marjane’s first-person memoir lets readers experience her emotions. Her narrative voice is unvarnished and accurately portrays her emotions and experiences.

One of Persepolis’s greatest strengths is its ability to make complex and painful topics funny. Marjane’s heartbreaking and humorous stories blend her historical and personal hardships. Even though it addresses conflict, injustice, and exile, this book’s comedy and earnestness keep it intriguing.

Also captivating is Persepolis’ visual storytelling. Marjane’s black-and-white art is minimalist. This simplicity highlights the characters and their feelings, deepening the reader’s connection to the story. Black ink and white space symbolize Iran’s harsh life during the revolution and conflict with Iraq.


Everyone should have Persepolis on their shelves. This fascinating and moving novel transcends its genre and explores the human experience. Marjane Satrapi’s memoir is crucial for several reasons:

First, it offers a unique and intimate viewpoint on the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath. Marjane shows readers how political instability, cultural constraints, and the Iran-Iraq War affected life in Iran during this turbulent time. It debunks Western perceptions of Iran and humanizes its people.

Persepolis is a universal coming-of-age narrative that appeals to all readers. Marjane’s identity, family, love, and self-discovery issues transcend cultures. Her uplifting and realistic story of self-acceptance and resilience in the face of tragedy is a riveting read for teens and adults.

Third, the memoir’s graphic format makes it accessible to many readers, even graphic novel beginners. The story’s emotional impact is enhanced by pictures and language, making it engaging and thought-provoking.

Finally, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis is a literary masterwork that merges history, memoir, and art. It depicts the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath in a moving and personal way while spreading perseverance and self-discovery. Anyone interested in graphic novels, memoirs, or human experience should read this book. This classic will engage readers for centuries because to its dramatic story, unique characters, and artistic genius.

READ ALSO: Best Comic Books of All Time

Michael Caine
Michael Caine
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