Kim Herrington's Reviews > Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
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's review
Jul 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novel, lgbtq, nonfiction

In this sequel to Fun Home, Bechdel sets out to tell her mother’s story, but the story is really one of Bechdel’s search for a way to understand her mom and their relationship. As she searches for understanding, Bechdel recounts her own experiences in therapy and psychoanalysis, her study of the life and work of Donald Winnicott, a well-known 20th century British psychoanalysis, her study of Virginia Woolf’s life, especially as it relates to her novel To the Lighthouse, and, of course, her interactions with her mother, which includes her painstaking documentation of conversations with her mother, and her experiences with some of her girlfriends.

Bechdel is very funny and engaging and her cartoons are even better in this book than Fun Home. While I really enjoyed this book, it’s a much more cerebral book than Fun Home. At times, I felt like I was in therapy and a lit class, which I found to be both entertaining and thought provoking, but I don’t think many people would feel the same way. If Bechdel had focused more on her personal experiences with her mother and less on her intellectual experiences, I think the book would have been much more fun to read.

If you're trying to understand your mom and/or your relationship with her, this might be the book for you. :-)

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