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Book About Wartime Iran a Statement Against Dictatorships


Graphic novel explains experiences of Iranians during revolution and war

Washington -- Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, a four-volume series that first was published in 2000, has become one of the most influential graphic novels in the past 10 years and is a cornerstone of curricula being taught at U.S. universities, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the premier institution for training U.S. Army officers.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return


Chicken with Plums 

The series, which tells the story of Satrapi's life in revolutionary and wartime Iran, has educated and inspired a wide range of readers, including pro-democracy activists from China to Chile.

“Suddenly it became the story of all dictatorships and it put me in a situation that suddenly, despite myself, I became the voice of a generation or the population,” Satrapi said in Washington October 31.

She said she wrote the book to help outsiders understand the Iranian people and their experience during the revolution and war with Iraq, adding that with the current tensions between Iran and the outside world, “there is a lot of need of this book today.”


“This whole work … [was] to try to show the human part of us, to say hey, these people that are so much misjudged, they are human beings exactly like you with family stories, with hopes, and you can identify with them and it might be you today.”

She said a whole generation of Iranians went through this, and now after a period of reflection “it is the right moment” to talk about these events.

Satrapi is among a growing number of women of Persian heritage living in the United States and elsewhere who are seizing upon the opportunity to tell their own stories, taking advantage of new freedoms and an increased feeling of comfort in their new societies.

For more coverage, see Women in the Global Community and The Arts.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:




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