Thursday, August 7, 2008

August Book Club Selection

With everything else going on, I completely forgot to announce the book club selection for August! Sorry about that. Hopefully you'll still have time to pick up a copy and enjoy the book before the end of the month.

This month I've chosen Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi based on the recommendation from beastmomma. I've heard a lot of great things about this book. I've also never read a graphic novel, so I thought this would be a great way to launch myself into a new genre of books. Hopefully it will be a fun experience for those of you who have also been putting off picking up graphic novels. Also, if you don't want to spend money on this book, be aware that it IS available at public libraries. I requested my copy a couple of days ago and it's already in!

OK then, here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about the book:

Satrapi's autobiography is a timely and timeless story of a young girl's life under the Islamic Revolution. Descended from the last Emperor of Iran, Satrapi is nine when fundamentalist rebels overthrow the Shah. While Satrapi's radical parents and their community initially welcome the ouster, they soon learn a new brand of totalitarianism is taking over.

Satrapi's art is minimal and stark yet often charming and humorous as it depicts the madness around her. She idolizes those who were imprisoned by the Shah, fascinated by their tales of torture, and bonds with her Uncle Anoosh, only to see the new regime imprison and eventually kill him. Thanks to the Iran-Iraq war, neighbors' homes are bombed, playmates are killed and parties are forbidden. Satrapi's parents, who once lived in luxury despite their politics, struggle to educate their daughter. Her father briefly considers fleeing to America, only to realize the price would be too great. "I can become a taxi driver and you a cleaning lady?" he asks his wife.

Iron Maiden, Nikes and Michael Jackson become precious symbols of freedom, and eventually Satrapi's rebellious streak puts her in danger, as even educated women are threatened with beatings for improper attire. Despite the grimness, Satrapi never lapses into sensationalism or sentimentality. Skillfully presenting a child's view of war and her own shifting ideals, she also shows quotidian life in Tehran and her family's pride and love for their country despite the tumultuous times. Powerfully understated, this work joins other memoirs-Spiegelman's Maus and Sacco's Safe Area Goradze-that use comics to make the unthinkable familiar.


I hope you all enjoy it and I look forward to hearing what you have to say at the end of the month!

6 comments:

Marg said...

Good choice for a book club read.

beastmomma said...

I am very excited. Maybe during the discussion, we could have a question comparing the book to the movie. I LOVED the movie, but have yet to read the book.

Running Knitter said...

This looks like a good read. I'm going to the library today to pick it up.

Becca said...

Running Knitter: Yay! I'm so excited you're going to participate! I picked up my copy today too. I can't wait to get started

Beastmomma: I've never seen the movie so I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the differences between book and movie.

Marg: I hope that means you're going to play with us!

Marg said...

Maybe. It has been a long time since I read it, but we'll see how it goes!

beastmomma said...

The movie is very good; you should certainly check it out.