The June selection for Emma Watson's feminist book club is here, and it will take readers to 1980s Iran via a powerful graphic novel about the Islamic Revolution and its aftermath. Our Shared Shelf will read Persepolis , a graphic novel that serves as the memoir of author Marjane Satrapi. The highly-acclaimed graphic novel was also adapted for film in 2007; it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Watson shared a note with readers detailing the plot of Persepolis:
Satrapi grew up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and its aftermath; Persepolis is the story of her childhood. Through Marji's youthful (though not-always-innocent) eyes and mind we see a turbulent moment in history unfold, and we witness the tremendous impact that local and global events and politics can have on even the most intimate moments of personal lives.
Though Persepolis was released in 2004, it remains relevant today. According to Watson:
As Iran enters another important period of change, with relations re-opening with much of the world, I think this is a particularly good time to pick up Persepolis. Satrapi's deceptively simple, almost whimsical drawings belie the seriousness and rich complexity of her story — but it's also very funny too.
Watson's book club has come under fire in the past for controversial selections. Readers took particular issue with her April pick — How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran — given Moran's history of transphobic statements and dismissal of women of color in discussions about feminism. However, thus far, Watson has done a good job selecting books from a wide variety of perspectives. Her other picks include The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem.