bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: fun home : a family tragicomic /
Subscribe via RSS 
Fun home : a family tragicomic
Alison Bechdel
Adult Fiction BECHDEL

Comments  Summary  Reviews  Author Notes

From Publishers' Weekly:

This autobiography by the author of the long-running strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, deals with her childhood with a closeted gay father, who was an English teacher and proprietor of the local funeral parlor (the former allowed him access to teen boys). Fun Home refers both to the funeral parlor, where he put makeup on the corpses and arranged the flowers, and the family's meticulously restored gothic revival house, filled with gilt and lace, where he liked to imagine himself a 19th-century aristocrat. The art has greater depth and sophistication that Dykes; Bechdel's talent for intimacy and banter gains gravitas when used to describe a family in which a man's secrets make his wife a tired husk and overshadow his daughter's burgeoning womanhood and homosexuality. His court trial over his dealings with a young boy pushes aside the importance of her early teen years. Her coming out is pushed aside by his death, probably a suicide. The recursively told story, which revisits the sites of tragic desperation again and again, hits notes that resemble Jeanette Winterson at her best. Bechdel presents her childhood as a "still life with children" that her father created, and meditates on how prolonged untruth can become its own reality. She's made a story that's quiet, dignified and not easy to put down. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Bechdel's masterwork is her two-decade award-winning strip, Dykes To Watch Out For, in 10 collected volumes. In that poignant yet hilarious story, Bechdel's inventive characters cope with career and health crises, lesbian psychodrama, and anti-Bush politics. With Fun Home, the artist draws her own story, also poignant, funny, and certainly real-life absurd. Mother is an actress turned housewife, while father teaches high school English and runs a funeral home (the "fun home," the children call it mockingly) on the side. Young Alison is pressed into helping with funerals and renovations on their gothic house, while pretending, along with parents and brothers, that they are a normal family. Yet why did her parents hate each other? Why was father so histrionic and mother so distant? As she untangles these mysteries, Bechdel skillfully pivots the tale in repeat takes around her father's perhaps-suicide. Gradually the secret is revealed, partly in metaphors of literature that brought daughter and father-now revealed as closeted gay-together at last before his death. Highly recommended; libraries should also consider her earlier entertaining prose/comic hybrid on cartooning, The Indelible Alison Bechdel (Firebrand, 1998). With mature themes plus some nudity and sex; for older teens and adults. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/06).-M.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog

related book lists

more titles about

recent comments
hcl mobile app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS