Top positive review
Humor and heartache about Iran, Europe, and family
on September 21, 2017
Satrapi's comic book is in some ways predictable -- it is a classic coming of age story with some new trappings. But the new trappings are something I've never had to understand before: a young contemporary Iranian woman finding herself between ideologies, emotions, and the European and Iranian world. Her perspective is honest, straightforward, and revealing -- I admire her courage to depict herself committing a very despicable act to save her bacon from Iranian watchdogs (and it also showed that, no matter the culture, making your grandmother disappointed in you is about the worst thing a human being can do).
I'll admit that the latter half of the book, with Marjane grown up, doesn't quite have the same fiery pop as the half surrounding her younger self, a bold pipsqueak learning the realities of war. But I'll forgive Satrapi for the wonderful illustrations, and for taking the opportunity to spend a page of setup for a genital joke. It's a good book that can be heartbreaking and bawdy at the same time.