“Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.
Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.”
Marjane Satrapi (Persian: مرجان ساتراپی) is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novellist, illustrator, animated film director, and children’s book author. Apart from her native tongue Persian, she speaks English, Swedish, German, French and Italian.
Satrapi grew up in Tehran in a family which was involved with communist and socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian Revolution. She attended the Lycée Français there and witnessed, as a child, the growing suppression of civil liberties and the everyday-life consequences of Iranian politics, including the fall of the Shah, the early regime of Ruhollah Khomeini, and the first years of the Iran-Iraq War.
She currently lives in Paris, where she is at work on the sequel to Persepolis. She is also the author of several children’s books.
The Azadi Tower (برج آزادی) sits at the west entrance to Tehran, Iran, and is the city’s most iconic structure. Composed of eight thousand blocks of white marble stone quarried in the Esfahan region, the tower’s construction was financed by a group of five hundred Iranian industrialists. Construction finished in 1971 to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. Originally the structure was named Shahyad Tower (شهیاد آریامهر), meaning “Kings’ Memorial,” but was dubbed Azadi or “Freedom” (برج آزادی) after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
The tower sits in the middle of Tehran’s famous Azadi Square, the site of many of the demonstrations leading up to the Iranian Revolution on 12 December 1979. With the rich history that surrounds it, the Azadi Tower is part of a greater cultural complex including a museum underneath the structure.