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Abstract

In this essay I explore the increasing use of autobiographical graphic novels by Iranian writers as a means of forging identity and reacting to political events in Iran. I analyze the ways in which the intersecting roles of autobiographical and graphic components (namely the use of framing) of novels such as Persepolis, An Iranian Metamorphosis, and Zahra’s Paradise create a particularly subjective narrative. I argue that this subjectivity gives weight to the nationalist and often feminist focus of the novels in a way that makes readers more likely to accept these sentiments. Finally, I examine the ways in which the novels respond to and work with the Orientalist discourse created by Western nations as that discourse relates to Iran.

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