To much disdain, 'Persepolis' pulled from curriculumThursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 8:25pm
In a move that's been dubbed "Orwellian", Marjane Satrapi's critically acclaimed graphic memoir Persepolis was recently banned from Chicago classrooms and school libraries. Persepolis, which was originally published in France in 2000, details Satrapi's childhood surrounding the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, followed by her adolescence studying in Vienna, and her return to Iran as a young adult.
The Chicago School district later backtracked this rather extreme move and limited the ban only to grade seven classrooms, citing that the book's graphic language and images were not "appropriate for general use in the seventh grade curriculum". Not only is Persepolis a fantastic work of art and storytelling, but it's also an opportunity for American students to learn more about world issues, and to understand that childhood experiences are not universal.
Banning a book that depicts something that children actually experience is a gross act of censorship, and we here at McNally Robinson, as both purveyors of a wide selection of graphic narratives and firm opponents of censorship, hope that the internet, Chicagoans, and a general sense of regret can shame the Chicago School district into reversing this harebrained decision. Hopefully Satrapi won't follow in the steps of Maus author and artist Art Spiegelman, who initially expressed hesitance about his work being used to teach students about the Holocaust.
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