Fun home : a family tragicomic

by Alison Bechdel

Paper Book, 2007


This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, 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 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 adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.--From publisher description.… (more)



Call number



Boston : Houghton Mifflin 2007

Media reviews

Bechdel’s style is straightforward. Her detailed drawings strive to present what she remembers accurately and with detail. The book is black-and-white with a blue-grey watercolor wash that provides depth and adds to the feeling of memory.

User reviews

LibraryThing member SandDune
A moving and thoughtful memoir of Alison Bechdel's childhood, and in particular her relationship with her father, a troubled man and a closet homosexual who seems almost to be living someone else's life. But rather than being the 'fun home' of the title, Bechdel's childhood home is a house governed
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by the moods of her father, whose arrival home from work 'cast a cold pall on the peaceable kingdom' where she spent her early days with the mother and brother. In his day job Alison Bechdel's father is a part-time funeral director running the family business, the Bechdel Funeral Home (the 'fun' home of the title), while also teaching English to reluctant students at the local high school. But in his spare time he has a passion and a talent for historical restoration: a passion that gives the Bechdel family a house with gilt cornices, marble fireplaces and crystal chandeliers but where Alison and her siblings seem there just to lend an air of authenticity to his exhibit, 'a sort of still life with children'.

Bechdel's father views his inner feelings through the prism of his favourite writers (James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald) and clearly has his own inner demons. Bechdel's coming out to her family is upstaged by her mother's announcement that her father had had several sexual relationships with young men and boys in their home town, which makes events in her earlier life rather clearer to understand. But this is not a vindictive memoir, rather an attempt to understand her father and in particular why he remained in his small home town leading a life to which he seemed so patently unsuited. So much so that when he was killed in a traffic accident at the age of 44 the assumption of his family was that it was suicide, although no note had been left.

Definitely a rewarding read especially for anyone interested in family relationships
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LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: Alison Bechdel grew up with a father who was alternatingly distant and angry, an English teacher and director of the local funeral home (or "Fun Home", as Alison and her siblings called it). Their relationship grew more and more complex until Alison was in college. Shortly after Alison had
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come out to her parents, she learned that her father was also gay... but before she had more than a brief chance to process that news, he was dead. Whether the accident that killed him had been truly an accident or a suicide, Alison would never know, just one of the many mysteries left by her father for Alison to slowly and painfully unravel here.

Review: The "look at my terrible childhood" flavor of memoir is my least favorite flavor, and is responsible for me thinking I didn't like memoirs in general until relatively recently. I'll happily grant Fun Home an exception, however, even though it technically does fall into that category. There are several reasons that it sets itself apart from the rest of its peers, but I think the primary reason is that Bechdel is not using her the trauma of childhood for laughs (although there are some humorous touches throughout) or for dramatic potential (although there's certainly plenty of that as well). Instead, there's a very palpable sense that she's writing this memoir because she's really trying to figure out her relationship with her father, and what it meant, and that putting her memories down on paper is the best way she can hope to make sense of it all. The narrative flow does jump backwards and forwards through time, repeating some parts of the story from different angles as they come to bear on different topics, giving it a feeling of "thinking out loud," but even so, it doesn't come across as feeling scattered or unpolished.

It also helps that her analysis, both of her father and of herself, is extremely penetrating, with enough emotion to make it powerful but enough age and maturity to make it thoughtful. Bechdel's prose is similarly both elevated and immediate, verbose and vocabulary-ridden, but still clear and forceful. The book is rife with literary allusions and direct textual comparisons, some of which I got, some of which surely went over my head, but which certainly set the intellectual tone of the book. Bechdel's art is also great, and I really liked the juxtaposition of her own detailed drawings with the drawn reproduction of photographs, printed text, and her own diary entries.

Overall, this was a very thoughtful and penetrating book. I'm sure that there are layers of meaning about homosexuality and the process of coming out that I, as a straight person, didn't latch on to. But I think there's also a message that's applicable to everyone, about the secrets that our parents keep, and about who they really are, and how we, as children of our parents, can manifest those secrets without ever truly understanding them. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Definitely recommended, particularly for people who like memoirs, but maybe even for people that think they don't.
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LibraryThing member gbill
Bechdel’s coming of age memoir is profound, touching, intellectual, and most importantly, honest. Her own journey is one of discovering she is a lesbian, finding out what that means, and coming out to her family while she’s in college. Her father’s is one of running a funeral home, teaching
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high school English, having a love for interior decorating and literature, and leading a double life that sometimes involves teenage boys. When he commits suicide at age 44, when Bechdel was 20, it’s hard for her to process, and re-connecting to him through memories (which sometimes need to be reinterpreted) is what the book is all about.

Bechdel ability to be true to her sexuality is set side by side with his inability to do so, and yet, the story is not a simplistic tale of ‘look how far we’ve come’ by any means. Like all great writing, there is something specific here, but also, something which speaks universal truths. She’s connected to her father in her love of literature and ‘being different’ than the cultural norm, and yet, disconnected, as he was aloof and often a glowering presence in their home. All relationships are complicated, no one is perfect, and we lead our separate lives, even if we’re under the same roof. Sometimes it’s easier for us to express ourselves to others, strangers even, as opposed to family members who are supposed to be closest to us.

The book draws extensive references to Camus, Proust, Joyce, and Fitzgerald, yet also American culture of the 70s, and all of it in a light way, with poetic, funny touches. It’s never cloying or sentimental, and yet I found it quite poignant, especially in the scenes that end each chapter. Bechdel is a master in telling this story, touching upon happiness and sadness, truth and conjecture, and love and accepting the flaws of those around us all at the same time. Powerful stuff.
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LibraryThing member bragan
A memoir in graphic novel format about Alison Bechdel's experiences growing up with her father: a difficult, damaged man who harbored secrets about his conflicted sexuality, and who jumped in front of a truck at the age of forty-four. I found it tremendously intimate and thoughtful and affecting,
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and by the end, I was honestly rather choked up. The graphic novel form works remarkably well, too, with Bechdel's childhood diary entries and snippets of her father's letters integrated smoothly with the simple, well-drawn black-and-white illustrations. And for a memoir told in such a visually oriented style, it's also a remarkably literate one, as Bechdel attempts to connect with and understand her English teacher father through the reading they shared. Definitely recommended.
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LibraryThing member RebeccaAnn
A fantastic graphic novel of the author as a young girl coming to terms with her own sexual identity and that of her father's. Told in simple, yet perfect, prose, I found the story and the art to be compelling and beautiful. This is definitely a book to reread.

I loved the blatant honesty of
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Bechdel's narration. She doesn't hide her father's faults, nor her own. She lays everything down on the table and lets the reader maker his or her own decision. None of the characters are perfect. They're all human. The family is dysfunctional, but they all love and support each other.

My favorite moment of the entire book is when Alison runs across a picture of her father in his college years, wearing a women's swimsuit. She says he doesn't look awkward or silly, like one wearing it as a prank would, but rather he looks elegant. You can just feel the narrator finally seeing the truth about her father and, in the picture, he looks happy and finally at peace with himself. It's a beautiful moment that I kept finding myself drawn back to.

I recommend this book. It's a quick read, but I hope it honestly touches your heart like it did mine.

4 stars!
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LibraryThing member mcelhra
I first heard of Fun Home when I read an article about how it was on the summer reading list for incoming freshman at Duke University and a group of students were boycotting it. They said it was pornographic and that its homosexual themes violated their Christian moral beliefs. Learning a group is
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trying to ban or boycott a book is one sure way to get me interested in reading it.

Fun Home is Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of her life growing up. Fun home is what she and her brothers called the family-owned funeral home her dad ran. This was the first adult graphic novel I’ve read. (And by adult, I mean for grown-ups, NOT porn.) I was really surprised how drawn into it I was. I didn’t realize that characters could be so defined in the graphic format. I really felt for Alison, having to grow up with such distant, detached parents. Her pain and confusion over her father’s death jumps off the page.

The only way that Alison and her father relate to one another is through a mutual love of books and reading. Fun Home is peppered with literary references and comparisons that went completely over my head. Once again I’m pulling the “I was an accounting major so I didn’t read any classics in college card”. If you have, you may enjoy the references and Alison’s book will have even more meaning for you. However, I still liked this book a lot anyway.

There were a few nude drawings in this book, when Alison figures out she’s a lesbian and starts having relationships with women. However, Alison is a talented illustrator and they looked like works of art in my opinion. If the scenes had been described using words, they would have been much more graphic. I am applying Justice Potter Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” test of obscenity and this ain’t it.

As far as the homosexual themes in the book goes, yes this is a memoir written by a lesbian about her relationship with her gay dad. It’s a gay book. But isn’t one of the great things about reading learning about people who are different than you? Reading helps one develop a deep sense of empathy. Maybe you might even learn that people you once thought were evil are not. Maybe that’s a scary thought for some people and they would rather live in their insulated bubbles. I’m glad I’m not one of those people. However, I should thank the students at Duke for alerting me to this book’s existence.

Put Fun Home on your list of challenged books that must be read!
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LibraryThing member DanieXJ
So, it's an autobiography of the author, sorta, I think, and yet it isn't. It's also one ginormous literature allusion. There's a lot of Proust, those I Didn't get so much, and a whole lotta James Joyce, and I definitely got more of those allusions than the Proust ones.

It was also a very dark
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narrative, though it didn't seem totally depressing, and it was quite funny.

I also liked the art for the most part, which surprised me, because it was all blue (there's probably an arty word for it, but I'm gonna stick with blue). But, even as it was all blue all the characters were very, very expressive as well.

A solid 4 star Graphic Novel.
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LibraryThing member msf59
This is an illustrated memoir, exploring the author’s childhood, young adulthood and her unusual relationship with her father. He is a complex, fastidious individual. An English teacher, a home-restorer, funeral home worker and closeted homosexual, with a penchant for teenage boys. This book is
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described, on the cover, as “A Family Tragicomic”, which may be misleading. I didn’t find much humor here but what can be found is an unflinchingly honest look at a woman dealing her troubled past. This one may not be for everyone but I’m glad I took a peek into this dark, yet fascinating life.
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LibraryThing member Stevil2001
Here's the fourth "literary" graphic novel I've reviewed this month, and though I liked it as much as any of the others, I don't have much to say about its form.  Bechdel doesn't do anything groundbreaking with word/image interplay-- indeed, this is a very word-driven comic, with at least one
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narrative caption overlaid on almost every panel.

But its content got right to me.  This is the story of a woman recounting her girlhood in a family where no one ever quite emotionally connected, so much so that she did not know her father was gay until it was too late for that information to ever influence her relationship with him.  They're a strange unusual family, and it's one of those books where you can't help thinking of your family the whole time through, and drawing connections, and feeling something as a result. (This may indicate more about me than the book.) Bechdel reminds me of Jeanette Winterson, though not entirely for the most obvious reason.

Likable all the way through, painful when it needs to be, occasionally funny, and the only missed note is really the ending, because it is just obviously false, but I guess that's memoir for you.
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LibraryThing member krau0098
I have wanted to read this graphic novel for a long time. It just sounded so interesting and it was very interesting. It’s incredibly well done, very funny, emotionally engaging, and full of interesting literary references.

This is an autobiographical novel by Bechdel and it was incredibly
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engaging and well done. Alison lives with her interior decorating obsessed father. Her father is also manic-depressive and a closet gay man. As you can imagine the marriage between Alison’s father and mother is very strained. To add to the macabre humor of it all Alison’s father owns and runs a funeral home which they call the “Fun Home”.

The book bounces between a number of times in Alison’s life. From when she was a child to an adult and back to a child. It is mainly told as a reflection of her growing up with her father after she hears about his death. She thinks about the many things she saw him doing as a child that she didn’t really understand until she got older.

Woven through all of this story is Alison’s own realization that she is a lesbian and what that confession did (or didn’t do) to her family. You get to watch as Alison’s dad struggles to form her into the perfect girl that he could never be (and Alison never wanted to be) and as Alison’s dad sneaks off for secret liaisons with other men.

The story takes place in a rural and very non-tolerant town in Pennsylvania mainly in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bits and pieces of the history of era are woven throughout the story.

Alison’s father also had a deep love for literature, which Alison herself develops as she gets older. This provides a bridge between Alison and her father, we also get to read a lot of literature references throughout the story that have meaning to our characters’ lives.

This is a book that is easy to read and at first seems a bit meandering, but it is also incredibly thought-provoking. It does an excellent job of making you look on and reflect on your own life. I especially enjoyed how the characters’ feelings for each other ebb and flow and they go from understanding and relating to each other to hating each other. The whole thing just captures family dynamics very well (if a bit more dramatically than most families).

The drawing throughout is very well done. It’s a fairly simple style interspersed with some very detailed lifelike drawings. I pretty much read the whole book in one sitting and loved the way it ended.

This is one of those very complex and emotional novels that will make you laugh, cry, wonder and consider how society influences relationships. It’s very masterfully done and was impossible to put down.

Overall a very masterfully done graphic novel autobiography. Really I have never read anything like this before. I highly recommend it. I would recommend for older teen or adult only, there are some graphic sex scenes and discussion about sex. I bet this is one of those books they are recommending for GLBT classes in college...there is just so much in here to discuss and think about.
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LibraryThing member varwenea
Wow! I never thought a graphic novel (ok – a tragicomic) can pack such a wallop. It’s poignant, raw, heartfelt, honest, and humorous. In this autobiography, author/artist Alison Bechdel shares the journey of her youth, family, and her homosexuality. The complication of this tale is the
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discovery of her closeted gay father, who died (possible suicide) four weeks after learning of his daughter’s sexual orientation and two weeks after his wife asked for a divorce. This journey is richly told via four effective medium throughout the pages – 1) dialogue of the actual events, 2) background text of the events, 3) literary references, and 4) the graphic artwork.

The literary references in this book added an immense richness to the tales. Father and daughter are both readers using book characters to mirror thoughts, feelings, and characteristics. F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Colette, Camus, and Marcel Proust were all featured in the book, as well as Oscar Wilde, whose indecent trial coincided with her mom’s theatrical role in “The Importance of Being Ernest”.

Not surprising, this book is very adult oriented with themes of sexual orientation, suicide, emotional abuse, and dysfunctional family life – but perfectly balanced with humor. The revelation of her father’s closeted homosexuality explained a lot of the latent angst in his behavior during their childhood. He was the antagonist of the story, and the book was dedicated to the protagonists – her Mom and her two brothers. Interestingly, the book became the author’s therapy and in her later interviews, she expressed an appreciation for the early generations of gays who led the path to her ability to smoothly come out of the closet even though her father never did. I will add this book was turned into a screen play which became the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical of the Year, with a much more upbeat tone than the book. I hope the father will RIP knowing his daughter has expressed some forgiveness by having a more positive view of her past in this musical.

While I typically have no issues with books that jump back and forth in time, I ding this book somewhat for repeating images/aspects previously shared to align with a chapter’s theme. A bit more editing is warranted, especially the last chapter. Still, I decided it deserves the 5 star rating. It truly is a homerun.

P.S. “Fun Home” = Funeral Home, the father’s family business

Some Quotes:
On dysfunctional family dynamics:
“Sometimes, when thing were going well, I think my father actually enjoyed having a family. Or at least, the air of authenticity we lent to his exhibit. A sort of still life with children…… I grew to resent the way my father treated his furniture like children, and his children like furniture…… He used his skillful artifice not to make things, but to make things appear to be what they were not. That is to say, impeccable.”

On death:
“It could be argued that death is inherently absurd, and that grinning is not necessarily an inappropriate response. I mean absurd in the sense of ridiculous, unreasonable. One second a person is there, the next they’re not.”
Credited to Camus – “The Myth of Sisyphus”: “The subject of this essay is precisely this relationship between the absurd and suicide, the exact degree to which suicide is a solution to the absurd.”

On homosexuality:
“Proust refers to his explicitly homosexual characters as ‘inverts.’ I’ve always been fond of this antiquated clinical term. It’s imprecise and insufficient, defining the homosexual as a person whose gender expression is at odds with his or her sex. But in the admittedly limited sample comprising my father and me, perhaps it is sufficient. Not only were we inverts. We were inversions of one another.”
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LibraryThing member JimmyChanga
The 7 chapters in this graphic memoir feel less like she's telling you a story from beginning to end... and more like she's telling you the same story 7 times. But each time, she reveals a little bit more, either contextual, historical, or personal analysis. It's more of a graphic-personal-essay
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than a graphic-memoir, in that she is trying to work something out, trying to make some meaning out of her past by looking at it from several different angles. The point is not to tell a good story, the point is to wring some ounce of meaning out of it, and if she didn't do it so well, I would fault her for this. But she does it well, and it suits her OCD personality to hash and re-hash things, to build some kind of sense and meaning (even numbers except for multiples of 13!) out of what is seemingly meaningless.

One way she does this is to cast her family in the roles of literary characters, writers, and actors. Through the course of this book she draws parallels between herself/her family and the following: F Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, Ulysses/The Odyssey, Icarus/Daedelus, Richard Nixon, The Adams Family, Jimmy Stewart & Family in It's A Wonderful Life, Camus, Catcher in the Rye, Colette, Proust, Robert Redford, some Henry James novel etc. etc. By the end you feel like she's probably way too smart for her own good. All this analogizing her life can't be good for her, this obsessive analysis borders on neurosis, and she knows it too: one of her many theories is that it is easier to live through fiction, or to access life through illusion/allusion than directly.

Anyway, the weaving of these threads together is done with such skill that it makes for a good read. And perhaps she did come away with it, after all of that, with some kind of insight. It definitely feels like insight by the end, but I'm not sure if it is, or if all it boils down to is just her trying to convince herself of what she wants to believe.

I was struck by the fact that I didn't like the father at all. And I felt like there weren't that many characters to really cling to in this book, except for the father and the narrator. But other than the father, the other characters fall back into bit parts, almost invisibly. And I wasn't sure if I was supposed to feel sympathy for the father, which is what seemed to be happening towards the end. I felt sympathy maybe for his situation, but I really didn't like him as a person (well, that sounds kinda weird... how about "as a person as portrayed in this book").

One last note: I wasn't really impressed by the art when I began, but it grew on me (mainly because of the story). She's definitely a much better thinker/writer than an artist. And the way she weaves the words with the pictures works really well sometimes without seeming too clever or innovative (which usually gets on my nerves).
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LibraryThing member rivkat
Bechdel’s memoir of her father, her father’s closeted homosexuality, and the literary worlds they did and didn’t share is a moving exploration of the bonds of family and history. Love in its many forms is mysterious—why did her father sublimate his sexuality into restoring their house? Why
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did her mother stay with him for so long? Why did Bechdel hide things from herself and from her parents in the way she describes? The meditations and literary allusions that fill this graphic novel don’t answer those questions; they can’t, and that’s part of the story. I liked the confessional yet also analytical style, and the illustrations give a strong sense of the period. The book focuses on her father and his early death (perhaps from suicide); I understand there’s another volume about her relationship with her mother.
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LibraryThing member the_awesome_opossum
From its title, Fun Home connotes so many motifs of this graphic memoir: a cavalier nickname for the family's funeral home, an ironic description for Alison Bechdel's childhood that is both tense and pretense, and an association with carnivalesque "fun houses," where everything is distorted and
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Alison tells her childhood/coming out memoir through a lens of her father's suspected suicide when she was twenty. Hindsight lends a lot of depth to her complicated relationship with him; they were both gay and both "knew" about one another but could hardly talk about it within the confines of their appearance as a normal Catholic suburban family. Still, if they never got the hang of a father-daughter relationship properly, they did become intellectual partners over a shared hobby of reading. Fun Home is dense with intertextuality, references to literature through which Alison and her father connected.

All in all, the memoir ends up bittersweet (or, as the subtitle suggests, a "tragicomic"). Alison never reduces her relationship with her father to anything saccharine or perfectly understood, but leaves it both complicated and cut short by his suicide.
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LibraryThing member Eurekas
Growing up in small town Pennsylvania with a father who is a closet homosexual, coming to an understanding of his frailty and his decision in terms of her own lesbianism; this book is a lovely and honest look at both. I enjoyed it throughly and would recommend it to anyone.
LibraryThing member piemouth
Complicated, dense, fascinating memoir of growing up in a dysfunctional family with unhappy parents. Her father was apparently gay, but closeted, and seems to have been manic depressive. Bechdel describes her own childhood neuroses and her eventual coming out, and wonders if that triggered her
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father's death, which could have been a suicide. I read Dykes to Watch Out For for years (when I lived where I could pick up papers that carried it) and already loved her drawings but this is on a whole other level as she finds connections between various family events, literature, her own coming out, gay history, and more.
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LibraryThing member MeriJenBen
A woman looks back on the contradictions that made up her father's life and shaped her own understanding of the world in this challenging, non-linear graphic memoir.

Alison and her two brothers grew up in a Gothic revival home that had been meticulously restored by her father. Alison describes her
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father as a master of making things look like something they weren't; this talent extends beyond the merely decorative, as Bruce Bechdel created the facade of a perfect family to hide his closeted sexuality. As Alison discovers her own homosexuality, she comes to see how her father's rigid standards have shaped who she is.

This book is not an easy read, as it is spiral in nature -- the narrative circles around Bechdel and her father -- and Bechdel's literary references are challenging, to say the least. It is however, beautifully heartbreaking. The art, clean and economical, accented with aqua tones, serves the story perfectly. Bechdel's frankness is admirable, if somewhat uncomfortable, and it is her willingness to be open that would keep this book out of teen collections.
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LibraryThing member Helcura
Bechdel can be counted on to offer accomplished art and writing, but Fun Home is exceptional. More than just a coming out/coming of age memoir, she discovers herself in her discovery of her father. Exploring the complexity of her relationship with her father, Bechdel reflects our encounter with the
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strangers who are our parents. This is an honest, courageous portrayal of the messy difficulties and equally messy successes of family relationships. I finished this book admiring Bechdel's portrayal of the mystery that was her father, the mystery of her own past and present self, and her ability to leave the reader with the knowledge that, despite pain and confusion, in the end they both leave a legacy of love.
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LibraryThing member booksmitten
Through letters, literary passages, dictionary definitions, and
excerpts from her childhood journal, Alison Bechdel looks back through the lens of loss at growing up with a difficult and elusive father that she has more in common with than she would like to admit – much in the tradition of
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Spiegelman's "Maus." Her style is intrinsically visual but beautifully literary at the same time.
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LibraryThing member edwardhenry
I agree with the general tenor of reviews I've read on Library Thing: this book is lovely--quite the masterpiece. Fun Home is one of finest combinations of literature and art I have ever encountered. Bechdel's simple, elegant drawings allow the reader to enter into her family and their house, and
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her use of "mixed media" gives the comic an authentic, historic feel.

Most impressive to me is the way Bechdel weaves literature and mythology into her book: comparing her father to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and telling her story of sexual discovery through literature. For some people (probably a fair percentage of LibraryThingers) life and literature are deeply intertwined: this, contrary to much of what we've been told, is cause for celebration, not shame--and this is something Bechdel understands deeply.
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LibraryThing member melissarecords
Poignant memoir of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Family secrets gradually unfold as the author examines her childhood and comes to terms with her own sexuality. Sharp and compelling storytelling. Excellent artwork. Mature themes.
LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
An autobiographical graphic novel of Bechdel's family. She examines mostly her father who was gay but closeted. Bechdel is herself a lesbian and she explores her rocky relationship with her dad and how her life changed after he died (accident? suicice? no one knows for sure...). I thought it would
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be humorous, but actually it was pretty bleak.
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LibraryThing member CasualFriday
This is it! It took me until November, but this is the first book I've read this year that made me want to grab people by the collar and yell at them to read it. It's a graphic memoir by the creator of the alternative comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. I've never read a graphic novel and I didn't
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know what the experience would be like, but this book was deeply moving. It's an unsparing and unsentimental examination of Bechdel's relationship with her father. He was apparently gay and apparently took his own life when Bechdel was 20. Sounds like the stuff of Oprah, but the pathos is leavened with sly wit and cultural references that really resonated with me. Any English major who attended a women's college in the 1970s will appreciate all the books Bechdel was reading. The drawings are cool, too, although I'm the last person to judge any visual art.
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LibraryThing member montano
Tragicomic graphic novel memoir. Great writing, great illustrations. This could have been the inspiration for HBO's Six Feet Under--a gay kid growing up in a funeral home. Bechdel's unflinching narrative of family secrets, sexuality, and growing up is a satisfying read.
LibraryThing member Lexicographer
A favourite of the year. Such simple illustrations with so much subtlty, and a story with so many layers. Deserving of all the praise that has been heaped upon it.


Original publication date



0618871713 / 9780618871711
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