seattle reads persepolis
what would happen if all the readers of a town or city read the same book? that's what nancy pearl asked years ago when she created "if all of seattle read the same book." the concept is as simple as it is profound: a) select a fascinating book, b) encourage everyone to read it, and c) organize interesting public events to discuss it. today, these kinds of progams - often called "one book, one city" - exist all over the world. oftentimes, good ideas spread like fire.
this year, chris higashi and her colleagues at seattle public library's washington center for the book made an outstanding selection for this year's shared reading: marjane satrapi's persepolis: the story of a childhood.
from the seattle reads website: "Persepolis is a memoir in graphic novel form, the first graphic novel in the eight years of 'Seattle Reads.' We can't think of a better choice than Persepolis, to introduce readers to the format, especially for readers who may have resisted thinking comic books are for youths.
Reading Persepolis together, we will explore Iranian history and the Islamic Revolution, the human cost of war and political repression, all relevant topics in current times. Through programs and panel discussions, we will also explore the growing popularity of graphic novels."
smart, smart, smart.
like always, sarah is light years ahead of me: she heard about the book selection, ordered it through the library, and read it before i even had the chance to ask, "what's persepolis?" now i'm reading the book. it's inspiring and depressing, playful and painful. it's brilliant.
although i'm spending today (and the next few days) grading papers, i hope to finish it before tomorrow, saturday, when marjane satrapi will be at my local library, the ballard public library, at 2 pm to lead a discussion of her book. and, for the whole schedule of events around persepolis, visit this page.
thanks chris higashi, washington center for the book, and seattle public library for an inspired set of events.