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"Graphic novels are great for the juxtaposition of images and text, and this pair is no different, but what makes these books so powerful is the intimacy. Bechdel's strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, was community oriented and politically-engaged. Her first and second book depart from this, plunging into Bechdel's own life and memory of it. It is a look at a time past, dealing with sexuality, gender, death, and how we can inhabit the same physical space and overlapping biology in such distinct ways. For me, these two books are inseparable from one another. Are You My Mother? takes on a more intellectual and controlled approach, which, perhaps, is why Fun Home will always have a special place in my heart. The final panel of Fun Home, a young Bechdel leaping towards her father's arms in the pool, still gives me shivers."
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, NATIONAL BESTSELLER Time Magazine #1 Book of the Year • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist • Winner of the Stonewall Book Award • Double finalist for the Lambda Book Award • Nominated for the GLAAD Media Award
Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir that charts her fraught relationship with her late father.
Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail.
About the Author
Alison Bechdel’s cult following for her early comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For expanded wildly for her family memoirs, the best-selling graphic memoir Fun Home, adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical, and Are You My Mother? Bechdel has been named a MacArthur Fellow and Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont, among many other honors. Her new memoir, The Secret to Superman Strength, is forthcoming in 2021.
"A splendid autobiography...refreshingly open and generous." —Entertainment Weekly
"Fun Home must be the most ingeniously compact, hyper-verbose example of autobiography to have been produced. . . . pioneering." —The New York Times Book Review
"A masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other." —Time Magazine
"Graphic storytelling at its most profound." —Los Angeles Times, Favorite Book of the Year
"The great writing of the twenty-first century may well be found in graphic novels and nonfiction....Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is an astonishing advertisement fro this emerging literary form." —USA Today
"Brilliant and bittersweet." —The Boston Globe
"Beautiful combines the mundane with the macabre, adding doses of wry, poignant humor on every page." —Washington Post
"One of the best memoirs of the decade ... at once hypercontrolled and utterly intimate." —New York Magazine, Best Books of the Year
"A revelation ... feels like a true literary achievement, something with characters who baffle and disappoint and break hears the way people do in life and in the best of prose." —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"If David Sedaris could draw, and if Bleak House had been a little funnier, you'd have Alison Bechdel's Fun Home." —Amy Bloom, author of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You
“Alison Bechdel – she’s one of the best, one to watch out for." —Harvey Pekar