Laura Sneddon’t brilliant review of Marjane Satrapi’s provocative graphic novel hits the right balance between perspective and empathy

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When I first read Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, I was transported to a world of no black and white moral and political absolutes, a world where single-word concepts don’t carry unambiguous moral value – “democracy”, “feminism”. The world of my own childhood, in fact, one not spent in the pluralistic global North, but behind the iron curtain – and only a few hours’ drive from Marjane’s. A world that, after three decades of life in liberal democracies, I’d forgotten the texture of.

It’s funny how deeply we grow into the comfortable platitudes of our (currently) globally dominant paradigm: the challenge when reviewing cultural products from outside the cosy certitudes of our culture is to view it on its own terms, and not as a reaction or reflection of our own concerns and priorities.

Laura Sneddon in her excellent review rises to the challenge beautifully, and captures a clear perspective on Satrapi’s work, avoiding the clichés that have beset other considerations of the book. Recommended for all, even those who have already read Persepolis.

Continue reading Persepolis, by Laura Sneddon.