Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi

In Persepolis, heralded by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the freshest and most original memoirs of our day," Marjane Satrapi dazzled us with her heartrending memoir-in-comic-strips about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Here is the continuation of her fascinating story.

In 1984, Marjane flees fundamentalism and the war with Iraq to begin a new life in Vienna. Once there, she faces the trials of adolescence far from her friends and family, and while she soon carves out a place for herself among a group of fellow outsiders, she continues to struggle for a sense of belonging.

Finding that she misses her home more than she can stand, Marjane returns to Iran after graduation. Her difficult homecoming forces her to confront the changes both she and her country have undergone in her absence and her shame at what she perceives as her failure in Austria. Marjane allows her past to weigh heavily on her until she finds some like-minded friends, falls in love, and begins studying art at a university. However, the repression and state-sanctioned chauvinism eventually lead her to question whether she can have a future in Iran.

As funny and poignant as its predecessor, Persepolis 2 is another clear-eyed and searing condemnation of the human cost of fundamentalism. In its depiction of the struggles of growing up--here compounded by Marjane's status as an outsider both abroad and at home--it is raw, honest, and incredibly illuminating.

I read Persepolis a while ago, and it was always my intention to read the follow up to it. And this week I did!

This book picks up where Persepolis left off. Marjane has moved to Austria to go to school, but she struggles over a long period of time to deal with the fact that she is an outsider there. She has to deal with prejudices and loneliness, and find herself drawn to the fringes of society, to the point that she eventually finds herself homeless.

Upon returning to Iran, she once again finds herself the outsider - she is seen as too Western, and eventually finds herself conforming to the expectations of Iranian society.

As a study of young girl trying to find her way in two different cultures, two completely different worlds, this is a very touching and emotional read. Having said that there were some true laugh out loud moments!

Highly recommended...but start with Persepolis first!

Rating 4.5/5

Other Blogger's Thoughts:

Things Mean A Lot
B & b Ex Libris
Katrina Reads
The Daily Pugle (The Complete Persepolis)


  1. Have fun on your trip!!! I don't think your priorities are out of order at all, not having a decent book to read can ruin any good time!!

  2. Hey Marg,
    I'm not exactly sure if this is how you want people to link to your reviews (I'm still a little new to blogging), but I reviewed The Complete Persepolis here.

    PS You've read tonnes of books!
    PPS You should read more graphic novels! Just sayin' ;-)

  3. Hi Ben, I will add your link to the list!

    What other graphic novels would you recommend?

    Thanks for stopping by!



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