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One College One Book: Welcome to OCOB 2013

The Book: 'Persepolis'

Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis is a two-part graphic novel in which the author recalls growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and in Europe during the 1980s. As the daughter of educated, left-leaning parents, Marjane’s home life contrasted sharply with the strict Islamic culture that engulfed Iran just after the revolution. Accordingly, her memoir recounts the swift changes and varied reactions of her family to the events of the revolution. While not a journalistic account, the story offers her perspective, as an outspoken young woman, about the great changes occurring around her. In this excerpt, a young Marjane reacts to the early days of Iraq’s war with Iran.

Excerpted from Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi © 2003. Reprinted with permission by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Persepolis Film Website

Perceptions of 'Persepolis'

Chicago Public School students protest the removal of the graphic novel Persepolis from some school curricula. The action took place outside Lane Tech High School, March 15, 2013.

Photo: Max Herman

Marjane Says

Cartoon image of Marjane Satrapi Courtesy of Smith ColleteI remember I led a peaceful, uneventful life as a little girl. I loved fries with ketchup, Bruce Lee was my hero, I wore Adidas sneakers and had two obsessions: Shaving my legs one day and being the last prophet of the galaxy.

Zahra's Paradise

Zahra's Paradise Logo

Are you enjoying Persepolis?  Then try Zahra’s Paradise a thrice weekly serial webcomic written by two activists.

Learn about Iran

Iran May 2001 by Abbas Courtesy of ArtStor

Iran May 2001 by Abbas Courtesy of ArtStor

One College, One Book

Welcome to One College, One Book for Fall 2013!

Each year, Rasmussen University students, faculty, and staff online and at all campuses and offices have an opportunity to unite by reading the same book! The One College, One Book program encourages lively discussion on a variety of topics, promotes recreational reading, and raises diversity awareness.

We invite you to join us this quarter in exploring the following graphic novel title:



by Marjane Satrapi 

The Author: Marjane Satrapi

Portrait of Marjane Satrapi Marjane Satrapi left her native Iran to enjoy a successful career as an illustrator and graphic novelist in Paris. Satrapi often told her friends about her experiences growing up in Iran in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution in 1979 and the outbreak of war with Iraq in 1980. Impressed by her stories, Satrapi's friends urged her to write a memoir. Instead of a conventional book, though, Satrapi decided to relate her experiences through a graphic novel, a format which expands on the traditional comic book.

The first volume of her graphic novel, Persepolis, focuses on the dramatic changes that swept Iran after the Islamic revolution.


From: Current Biography International Yearbook (2003) from the Wilson Reference Bank database. Use the link below for more details.

What is Persepolis?

Guest Speaker: James S. Kessler

Rasmussen University hosted guest speaker James Kessler on Thursday, November 14th at noon Central.  Mr. Kessler spoke about Middle Eastern history and common misperceptions Americans hold about the region and Islam. 

Iranian Literature

Image from Persepolis

Muslim, Arab, Islam?

Recommended Reading

Check out the following books at your local public library or in our electronic book databases. (If a title is available in our databases the title will be linked in blue.)

What is a Graphic Novel?

Recommended eBooks

Persepolis Discussion Question 1

Why did the author, Marjane Satrapi, choose the graphic novel format for her story?  Do you think the visual aspect of the graphic novel adds to the story, or would a traditional memoir tell the story just as well?  Would you call this a comic book?

Persepolis Discussion Question 2

What kinds of captivity and freedom does the author explore in Persepolis?  What stifles or prevents people from being completely free?  In Persepolis how do they circumvent and defy the rules imposed on them and attempt to live ordinary lives despite revolution and war?

Persepolis Discussion Question 3

At the core of this book is Marji's family.  What is this family like?  What is important to Marji's parents? What environment do they create for their daughter despite living under an oppressive regime and through a brutal, prolonged war? What would you do for your family is this situation?

Persepolis Discussion Question 4

Do you think Persepolis attempts to change or shape public attitudes?  Did Persepolis dispel or confirm your views on Iran?  Did reading this book deepen your understanding and knowledge of Iran?