Marjane Satrapi was born in Rasht, Iran, in 1969. Her family was politically quite progressive, being involved with both the Communist and Socialist movements in Iran prior to the Iranian revolution. She received a Western education at the Lycée Français before her parents decided to send her to Vienna, Austria at the age of 14, to continue her schooling and escape the increasingly oppressive revolution. She returned to Iran for college, eventually earning a Masters of Visual Communication. After completing her education she moved to France. She currently lives in Paris, working as an author and illustrator.
Satrapi has many reasons for choosing a visual medium in which to tell her story. In particular, comics have some unique strengths:
Image is an international language. The first writing of the human being was drawing, not writing. That appeared much before the alphabet. And when you draw a situation — someone is scared or angry or happy — it means the same thing in all cultures. You cannot draw someone crying, and in one culture they think that he is happy. He would have the same expression. There's something direct about the image.
Also, it is more accessible. People don't take it so seriously. And when you want to use a little bit of humor, it's much easier to use pictures.
Her work has been well received, internationally, by both critics and readers. Persepolis earned the Coup de Coeur Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2001. An animated adaptation, which Satrapi co-wrote and co-directed, received the Jury Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2007, and the Cinema for Peace Award for "Most Valuable Movie of the Year" in 2008. A follow up book, Persepolis 2, continues the story of the first volume and was received with equal acclaim by both readers and critics.
Michael Jenkins, courtesy of NoveList Plus
Chicken with Plums (Pantheon Books, 2006)
The author relates the story of her great-uncle, Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran's most acclaimed musicians, who discovers that his beloved instrument has been irrevocably damaged and renounces the world, its pleasures, and life itself.
Embroideries (Pantheon Books, 2005)
A collection of stories and anecdotes, told in the form of a graphic novel, reveals the love and sex lives of a group of women as revealed during an afternoon of conversation and tea-drinking.
Courtesy of NoveList Plus