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marjane satrapi 'persepolis'

Communism and Kim Wilde in 70s Iran.

It's 1979 and things are hotting up in Iran. The Shah has been deposed but The Revolution has been hijacked by the Ayatollah and his fundamentalist henchmen.

Marjane Satrapi is the feisty 10-year-old daughter of a pair of wealthy, educated Marxists in Tehran. Apart from having a working knowledge of dialectic materialism, a Che Guevara fetish and a hotline to god, she is just like any other young girl plunged into extraordinary circumstances.

In this graphic autobiography - rendered in simple but eloquent monotone frames - Satrapi depicts an adolescence in which relatives and friends “disappear”, women and girls are compelled to wear the veil, Iraqi Scud missiles bombard Iranian cities, and Kim Wilde posters are contraband (subversive minx). And yet, somehow, her family preserve a defiant sense of normality. This is a timely, well aimed (and gently didactic) reminder that the people on the “axis of evil” are very similar to ourselves, and there but for the grace of god... Michael Williams 23 May 03

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is published by Jonathan Cape, out now.

useful link: random house: persepolis

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