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Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Paperback – August 2, 2005
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After a series of unfortunate choices and events leave her literally living in the street for three months, Marjane decides to return to her native Iran. Here, she is reunited with her family, whose liberalism and emphasis on Marjane's personal worth exert as strong an influence as the eye-popping wonders of Europe. Having grown accustomed to recreational drugs, partying, and dating, Marjane now dons a veil and adjusts to a society officially divided by gender and guided by fundamentalism. Emboldened by the example of her feisty grandmother, she tests the bounds of the morality enforced on the streets and in the classrooms. With a new appreciation for the political and spiritual struggles of her fellow Iranians, she comes to understand that "one person leaving her house while asking herself, 'is my veil in place?' no longer asks herself 'where is my freedom of speech?'"
Satrapi's starkly monochromatic drawing style and the keenly observed facial expressions of her characters provide the ideal graphic environment from which to appeal to our sympathies. Bereft of fine detail, this graphic novel guides the reader's attention instead toward a narrative rich with empathy. Don't be fooled by the glowering self-portrait of the author on the back flap; its nearly impossible to read Persepolis 2 without feeling warmth toward Marjane Satrapi. --Ryan Boudinot --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the end of the first Persepolis I cried. I can't remember a regular book that gave me such emotion before, if ever (I also cried at Maus).
As an immigrant, I identify with Sartrapi more than with any author I've ever read. Maybe because her experiences with loneliness, heartbreak and xenophobia are so vivid they just jump out of the pages.
One thing that's very evident in every page of the book is her immense patriotism. Her country is as part of what she is as much as her family. Thank God for that, because now there's a point of view of Iran little known to Westerners. And it's available in your bookstore. As a comic.
My highest recommendation. Run to get a copy. I hope publishers now realize this art form is here to stay.
PERSEPOLIS 2: THE STORY OF A RETURN picks off where Persepolis 1 ended. Marjane is sent by her parents to study in Vienna, Austria to escape the bombings and uncertainty of the Iran-Iraq War. As she integrates herself into her new life she experiences a sense of lost identity as she straddles between the West and Iran. Her steadfast pride of being Iranian continues in the face of prejudice and misinformation. Although she has physically grown up her intensity remains.
I was very fortunate to meet Marjane Satrapi at a book reading two nights ago. She is both articulate and compassionate about her life and her perceptions of current geopolitical events. Also, she was very funny and had the audience laughing many times at her varied quirkiness. Her life story is inspirational and sticks with you long after her books are put back on the shelf. Highly recommended!
satrapi wrings every bit of irony, humor, and pathos out the combination of first person narration and graphics. her characterizations are always clear but never cliched and her break-neck narrative style (growing 2 feet in three small frames) depends on both text and graphic for meaning. most importantly we are watching the artist learn how to become an artist, looking at the development not only of a singular spirit but also of a globalized sensibility. satrapi owes as much to iranian storytelling as she does to western graphic art, and it's no surprise that her books (like most comics) are easily translated and easier to digest in translation.
if satrapi's form travels well, her narrative travels even better. frame by frame, page by page, satrapi struggles first to do what she wants and then just to survive. between the crummy boyfriend and the marijuana smoke, the informers and the morality police, a self takes shape. part western teenager, part islamic mystic, satrapi is a true hybrid, something entirely different than her antecedents. her story is not about east or west, north or south, pictures or words, but about integration; the struggle of every young person caught between innnocence and the hate machines we know as political structures. a portrait of the artist without borders, persepolis II is its own war on terror, fought with pen and ink and dedicated to brave hearts and free spirits everywhere.
The Story of a Return provides insight into modern Iranian culture, the effects of the Iraq-Iran war, and the differences between the West and Iran as Marjane repeatedly integrates herself into an unfamiliar land. (Iran may be home, but it's strange to her when she returns.) We also witness the slurs and descrimination she endures as a Middle Easterner in Europe, and it induces brings a deep sense of horror in the reader on Marjane's behalf.
Some find the second book equal to the first. I disagree. It is no fault of the author's; she applies equal skill and talent to both books. The material is fundamentally different. The Story of a Childhood has a child's and pre-teen's whimsy flowing through it, and the characters are still relatively innocent and opimistic despite the path of the country. In The Story of a Return, the author tries to include some of the imaginings that brought such a charming whimsy to her first memoir, but it is harder with an older main character. The humor has to come from elsewhere, and is therefore harder to find. Her experiences seem harsher to the reader, since she is experiencing them directly, instead of the close calls or indirect experiences of the first Persepolis. And because Marjane is older, we become more judgemental of her mistakes, which also darkens the tone of the book.
Well worth reading, but one feels a sense of loss when comparing it to the first.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just as well done & as interesting as the first volume. Doesn't really stand alone as a single story though, you pretty much have to read the first one to really appreciate this... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Claude Kane III
Great book, great copy. I feel like I didn't pay enough for what I got, which is great.Published 2 months ago by Carlie Belt
Marjane Satrapi's work is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed her illustrations and I loved the way she told her story through them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amy North
Satrapi is an outstanding author. I highly recommend this book for a cultural read.Published 3 months ago by Black Lavender
I'll admit that it's been a few years since I've read Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. Okay... it's been a little over four years, but I remember being completely immersed in... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Erin (The Hardcover Lover)