Cruz Walden

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Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi became one of my favorite books of all time back in the fall of 2021, when my World Literature professor assigned it as our last reading of the semester. Persepolis is a memoir told in comics, which interested me when I first heard that we were reading it. I've never been a big graphic novel reader, so I was skeptical about the book at first, but the more I read it the more I connected with Marjane as a character. Watching her grow up during Iran's Islamic Revolution in the late 1980s and early 1990s was both intriguing and heartbreaking. Over the course of 341 pages, I watched Marjane go from a girl to a young woman while navigating her identity, faith, and sexuality, all while dealing with a war in her country. Upon finishing the book, I knew that I had to recommend it for Pathways' spring book group, so when nominations opened, I immediately emailed Dr. Hutchison and told her about Persepolis. She told me that she loved the book too, and a month later, I saw that the book group selection team had picked the first book of two to read. I was a little disappointed that the complete version with both books had not been selected, but in spite of that I was over the moon that my nomination was the one everyone chose.

In the weeks leading up to our book group meetings, I was elated to share my thoughts on different aspects of the memoir. In my World Lit class, I hadn't been able to say all of my thoughts on the book, given the amount of students that were in the room. I knew from previous Pathways book group sessions that, if the group was large enough, we'd be split into breakout rooms to talk about different thematic elements of the book. The first meeting we had was split into two breakout rooms. In mine, I kind of led the conversation at first, discussing what I thought was interesting about Marjane and her family, but eventually everyone else started to speak up too. At the second meeting, there were only five of us who showed up, so we all got a chance to ramble about what we thought was fascinating about what we'd just read. At the time of writing this, the third and final meeting has not yet happened, but I look forward to the atmosphere as we discuss the final chapters of the book. Hopefully, they will make every book group participant want to read the second one.

Author: Cruz Walden
Last modified: 5/3/2022 3:41 PM (EST)