Allison Bechtel's book is so smart, and funny, and warm, I wish I knew her!
The artwork is beautiful, and she apparently drew a lot from old family photos, which may be why the frames all feel totally natural, like you're looking in on a real family. The plot is that she grows up and discovers her own homosexuality and then her dad's, but it feels so universal; it's just about growing up and discovering who you are and making sense of where you came from. She's able to be so subtle and sympathetic to everyone (I guess that should be a given, since they are her family), that even when they're at their sickest and totally screwing up, you just love them all.
Also, my boyfriend once wrote her a note telling her how good the book was for him, and she wrote back such a nice, simple response, saying she was having a bad day and his letter made her feel better :)
If you're new to great graphic novels, don't miss Chris Ware!
Fun Home is an amazing work. Bechdel combines humor, insight, empathy, literary theory, and autobiographic reflection into one surprisingly readable comic book about her issues with her dad. There are a lot of things going on here: Bechdel traces her father's life, her childhood, their strained relationship, her coming out, and his breaking down. These strains are combined thematically with chapters structured around books: it seems that Bechdel's best and only way of communicating with her father, … more
Like most literature, nonfiction—essays, memoirs, and literary journalism, for example—uses metaphor and literary allusion as ways to enrich prose, to make themes more powerful and reader reactions more visceral. The interesting thing about this, however, is the fact that nonfiction is simply that, not fiction. So how can a writer of nonfiction use metaphor, a literary tool that requires meticulous creation and continuity throughout a text? Surprisingly, nonfiction tends to lend itself to the … more
Fun Home is a graphic memoir by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, creator of the syndicated comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For." Published in 2006, it tells the story of Bechdel's upbringing in a Pennsylvania funeral home run by her closeted gay father, who later dies in an automobile accident that Bechdel suspects is actually a suicide.
Drawing heavily on literary references such as Proust, "Fun Home" explores the identity issues associated with sexuality as Bechdel herself struggles through her formative years, questioning her own sexuality.
Reviews of "Fun Home" were overwhelmingly positive, with Time magazine naming the memoir one of the "10 Best Books of the Year" (2006).