Grace's Reviews > Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
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May 01, 08

bookshelves: book-talk, graphic-novel
Read in April, 2008

As a long-time fan of Alison Bechdel’s comic strip work, I was curious to learn more about her in her first non-fiction work, the graphic novel memoir Fun Home. The book recounts growing up with her emotional distant father – high school English teacher, part-time funeral director, restorer of a Victorian era mansion, book lover, and remote but dominating presence in the family. Bechdel makes excellent use of the graphic form to tell the story of growing up with this man. The drawings depict not just the events but the emotions of the times as this girl struggles to understand who her father is and to find a way to be close to him. It is not until she leaves home for college that the author learns the truth about her father’s story and the two can begin to try to bridge the distance between them. Not for the faint of heart or those who are uncomfortable with explicit images, this is a compelling read that is emotionally honest and frequently heartbreaking.
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