Title: Persepolis 2
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Genre: Graphic Novel – Non- Fiction
Synopsis: 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.
If we had to summarize Satrapi’s graphic novels we can see that both of her volumes are stories of leaving her home country but more of an acceptance that she has to leave and the why. In volume 1 we got an excellent depiction of the history behind the Iranian revolution and in this volume Satrapi shows us what it was like for her in Europe after fleeing Iran and then coming back. The culture changes, the feeling of belonging nowhere. Because of that this novel touched me more than the first. I completely understand her as I also left my Island for the United States at age 11 and that feeling of not belonging anywhere is shared with a lot of immigrants. You don’t belong in the Western countries but you also don’t fit in with those people who never left.
I absolutely love Satrapi’s honesty and her hard-hitting moments from admitting her homelessness in Europe to her attempt at suicide in her dark depression. I love that every step of the way Satrapi criticizes her own government, that she keeps pushing and is vocal about woman’s rights and in the mists of her advocacy she just wants to be loved by a man and feel wanted.
A lot of good stuff going on in these novels, I highly, highly recommend the duology if you have yet to pick it up. Also, these are not for kids.