Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 232 pages
1480 Reviews
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic -- and redemptive.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bucketofrhymes - LibraryThing

I wasn't sure about this book initially -- most of the literary references flew right over my head, and it often seemed like the narration was telling too much. Half a month later, though, and it's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Marse - LibraryThing

I don't often read graphic novels, but my husband bought this for my daughter (16) who came out at age 13. He read it first, and then I did. I enjoyed Bechdel's drawings and her story is both ... Read full review

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Contents

OLD FATHER OLD ARTIFICER
1
A HAPPY DEATH
25
THAT OLD CATASTROPHE
55
IN THE SHADOW OF YOUNG GIRLS IN FLOWER
87
THE CANARYCOLORED CARAVAN OF DEATH
121
THE IDEAL HUSBAND
151
THE ANTIHEROS JOURNEY
187
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

ALISON BECHDEL has been a careful archivist of her own life and kept a journal since she was ten. Since 1983 she has been chronicling the lives of various characters in the fictionalized "Dykes to Watch Out For” strip, "one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period” (Ms.). The strip is syndicated in 50 alternative newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and collected into a book series with a quarter of a million copies in print. Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as "one of the greatest hits of the twentieth century.”