2010 Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi)

Graphic novel?  Sequential art?  Comic book?  You decide.   Persepolis is very different from previous Honors Reads and it’s already causing a stir.  Once again, the students who chose this as the 2010 Honors Read thought hard about the incoming students who would experience this as their first taste of Honors through this text.  Once again, they picked a winner.

Excerpts from the letter of transmittal written by the students who chose the text:

We based our selection on criteria we developed for the selection; an Honors Read should: hook in students from a variety of backgrounds and interests, include themes that resonate throughout the Honors curriculum, be relevant to our time in history, be well written, promote discussion, and be “alive” and engaging.  Persepolis fits these criteria extraordinarily well.

We have selected Persepolis because it a well-crafted text. The balance between writing and artwork is beautifully done and creates an engaging reading experience while addressing the role of the aesthetic in our society.  Persepolis includes themes about the role of government in society, religious values, and defining truth. It is our hope that these themes will enrich the discussions in your first few weeks of classes as well as throughout your experience in the Civilizations sequence.

Persepolis is a graphic novel; the story is told through both illustrations and words. Although this resembles a comic book, the subject matter is academic and the illustrations are essential to the story. We encourage you to take your time examining the artwork and how it interacts with the language as you will be expected to discuss all aspects of the text. During the first two weeks of classes, there will be activities related to the text to further your understanding of the story.  In addition, you might find it helpful to look into the Islamic Revolution and the political climate in Iran circa 1980.