Rachel Nisselson’s French IV class welcomed Tina Saunders, a Loomis Chaffee parent and Iranian émigré, to their in-class book discussion on April 16 via an online Zoom conference call.
The class read Persepolis, a graphic novel written in French by Iranian author Marjane Satrapi, as part of their language-learning curriculum. The novel is the first in a series of stories about growing up in Iran during the 1980s Islamic Revolution. The stories were first published in 2000 in French and have since been translated into many languages.
In the class discussion, Tina noted many similarities between the author’s experiences and her own, and she shared her own memories of leaving Iran and arriving in the United States as a fourth-grader. Tina said she continues to honor her Iranian culture and stays in touch with family there. Iranians’ opinions of the United States are largely positive in her experience, Tina said, and she dispelled some misconceptions about Iranians that can be prevalent in the U.S. media.
Tina’s daughter Lilly Saunders is a junior, and her daughter Melody Saunders will be a Loomis freshman in the fall.