Publisher: Pantheon Books
Publication Date: 02 Aug 2005
Series or Standalone: Series
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Line: November 1984. I am in Austria.
Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic memoir detailing her high school years away from Iran and her eventual return to the country of her birth. This book is a follow up to her Persepolis and pretty much starts off where the first book left off.
Once again Satrapi uses the graphic style to tell her story and the visuals really add to her words and in a few places taking the place of words altogether giving weight to the phrase that a ‘picture tells a thousand words.’ In this part of her story Satrapi chronicles the isolation she felt while going to school in Austria. The uncertainty of never really fitting in to any one group and the search of trying to figure out just who she was. While in Austria she experienced so many freedoms that she never could have dreamed of while living in Iran. She also had to deal with peoples misconceptions of what it meant to be Iranian. In the end, once she graduated from high school she felt that the only way to learn who she was, was to return to the country of her birth.
Once back in Iran Satrapi faces a new struggle. The one of trying to fit back into a box that she no longer fit into. It was a hard reality for her to face when she realized that she had become so adjusted to the freedoms she had in Europe that she forgot what living in the repressive atmosphere in Iran was like. Satrapi had fled back to Iran looking for a place to belong and instead she found that even there she didn’t have an identity. She was too westernized now to fit comfortably back into her old skin.
Satrapi does a wonderful job of telling her story and in conveying all the emotions and the struggles that she faced both at school in Austria and back home in Iran. Her search to find out her identity was at times tragic and at others times amazingly beautiful. Her style of writing and drawing really conveyed all the emotions that she must have been feeling at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed this additional glimpse into Satrapi’s life and will be on the look out for any additional works that she might come out with. What can I say….sometimes I’m a horrible voyeur!