Revolutions Don't Mean Girls Don't Listen to Michael Jackson


A bomb goes off on your street. It misses your home by one. Phew. Wait...but this means it's hit the home of your neighbors, and as you walk past you see a girl's bracelet glimmering through the rubble on what you can only assume used to be her hand. You're a young teenager, you live in Iran, and this has become your normal. The bombs may trigger the biological fear response, but you've become a rebel.

You pair your veil with a denim jacket, Michael Jackson pin, and 1983 Nikes even if this can get you killed.

This is Persepolis, an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi; this book is so good I can't stand it. After coming off A Thousand Splendid Suns, a moving story of life and love from the perspective of several poor Iranian women, Persepolis gives us insight into what it's like to be a wealthy girl raised in Iran during the revolution. Persepolis tells us about the heartbreaking execution of Marji's uncle along with many others, but she also tells us how her parents partied late into the night drinking alcohol, dancing, and playing music (all of which were strictly forbidden) and how they smuggled Iron Maiden posters for her from Turkey. She teaches us, with humor and horror, what it looked like to be "privileged" in Iran. Most importantly she humanizes stories of war and helps us relate.