Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit.
Like Spiegelman's Maus, Satrapi's book combines political history and memoir, portraying a country's 20th-century upheavals through the story of one family. Her protagonist is Marji, a tough, sassy little Iranian girl, bent on prying from her evasive elders if not truth, at least a credible explanation of the travails they are living through ... It is the war with Iraq that is this book's climax and turning point. Satrapi is adept at conveying the numbing cynicism induced by living in a city under siege both from Iraqi bombs and from a homegrown regime that uses the war as pretext to exterminate 'the enemy within' ... Satrapi's drawing style is bold and vivid. She paints a thick inky black-on-white, in a faux-naïf pastiche of East and West.
Back in Iran, Satrapi, herself a descendant from pre-shah royalty and the daughter of Marxists, found her family locked in a deadly dance with the forces of revolution ... Satrapi converts a childhood filled with secret police and a long war with Iraq into a comic strip that is both funny and dark ... These are remarkable tales of family resilience told with wry humor shorn of sentimentality.
...Satrapi in her moving, graphic-novel-style memoir, Persepolis, which recounts her life as the daughter of educated, upper-middle-class parents before and after the Iranian revolution of 1979 ... fraught with peril, humor and irony ... The book is also a primer on how the Westernized elements of Iranian society dealt with new restrictions for women, the politicization of the school system, and other aspects of the Islamic regime ... And with its stark, highly stylized black-and-white drawings, it is also a frightening look at what life was like in the early 1980s, when the war with Iraq brought about a period of extreme repression at home.