Jennifer's Reviews > Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
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May 18, 12

Read in May, 2012

It's really hard to follow up a great first memoir with a second memoir. They will always be compared, and when aspects of story intersect, you can either bore the reader or make a less coherent narrative. I don't fault Bechdel, really, it's a fine book, just a bit, well, dull. Sort of like reading "Cherry" by Mary Carr after the fabulous "Liars Club." Or Augusten Burroughs - not that I liked his first book that much - who wretchedly rung out personal narrative pretty quickly. There are other examples. There's too much sitting in therapy and talking, and not enough story moving along on the page, we're just stuck in someone else's head listening to a pretty detailed thought process. It was a bit of a letdown. I think the book as a whole could have worked really well as linked short stories rather than a long narrative.

What I've really enjoyed is going back to many of the DTWOF comics and seeing the issues Bechdel is working through in the book being worked out in the strip.
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