These Books Made Me

Jun 16 2022 • 1 hr 4 mins

Marjane Satrapi's groundbreaking graphic memoir Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood chronicles the life of a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In this episode we discuss the experience of reading graphic novels, the impact of Satrapi's illustration style, and the importance of this work in establishing non-serialized graphics as a legitimate genre of literature. We look at class, religion, and cultural memory through the eyes of Marji and wonder about Marjane's intended audience and how well the book resonates for readers who don't have pre-existing knowledge of Iranian history and culture (spoiler - it hits!). We consult with an Iranian-American millennial about the impact of the book in that community and we play a round of "name that tune" with some of the songs of Marji's childhood.

These Books Made Me is a podcast about the literary heroines who shaped us and is a product of the Prince George's County Memorial Library System podcast network. Stay in touch with us via Twitter @PGCMLS with #TheseBooksMadeMe or by email at For recommended readalikes and deep dives into topics related to each episode, visit our blog at

We mentioned a lot of topics in this episode. Here’s a brief list of some informative articles about some of them if you want to do your own further research:

Emma Watson interviews Marjane Satrapi:

Women and the Islamic Revolution:

Satrapi interview about the film version of the book: