My first encounter with Persepolis was a few years back, when the film was showing on TV. I barely remember it, but I do remember wanting to read the graphic novel. It's taken me all these years to finally get it, and I've only just finished it.
Persepolis is, without a doubt, a politically charged tale. It revolves around the author, Marjane, and her first twenty something years of life. From day one she's a rebel, whether it's against the strict laws of Iran or the fluidly variant society of Europe. Whilst many of the events in this book happened before my life began, I do lack the historic background to know what happened then, Marjane does a fairly good job of explaining them to you. She shows the contrast between European society and that of Iran, and even the contrast between traditionalist and 'progressive' Muslims in Iran itself.
It's surprising how much she does in the 16 or so years we follow her (From a young girl to the age of 22), sometimes stretching the believability factor a little much (I'm not sure if she tweaked aspects to make a better read), but never ceasing to be compelling.
This book is a must read for anyone, really. The art is beautifully drawn, and you'll gain an understanding of Islamic laws, the struggles of women in some of those countries, and the tolls the constant conflicts take upon the civilians involved, as well as the political and religious manoeuvres used to try to keep the population placated. Marjane's story shows that the little things do and can matter, and that you should always be mindful of what you say or do, but also that you should never cease to be yourself.