COLUMBUS, Miss. -- An award-winning graphic novel is the selection for Mississippi University for Women’s 2017-18 Common Reading Initiative.

“Persepolis,” a memoir by Marjane Satrapi of a girl coming of age during the Islamic revolution in Tehran, will be the first-ever graphic novel chosen by a cross-campus committee, said Dr. David Brooking, director of the Student Success Center and chair of the committee.

“Readers felt it reflects many contemporary issues and can lead students to new insights and productive discussions,” he said.

While the book is presented in powerful black-and-white comic strip images, the themes of private vs. public life, personal beliefs, political structures, multiculturalism and marginalization of alternate viewpoints reflect the universality of human experience, Brooking said.

“We hope to challenge students to explore the complexities of a graphic novel as well as the complexities of some of these themes.”

While the book is tied to UN101, the university’s freshman seminar, all students, faculty and friends are invited to join the Common Read. There will be several programming events and a student competition tied to discussions.

Satrapi was born in Rasht, Iran. She now lives in Paris, where she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers throughout the world, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. In addition to “Persepolis,” she is the author of “Persepolis 2,” “Embroideries,” “Chicken with Plums” and several children’s books. She co-wrote and codirected the animated feature film version of “Persepolis,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Her most recent film was “The Voices” with Ryan Reynolds (2014).

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