Emily's Reviews > Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
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's review
Aug 31, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: adult-non-fiction, graphic-novels
Read in August, 2012

I don't know how to feel about this one. I read this back to back with Fun Home and now I'm thinking I should have spaced the two out a bit. I'm swimming in Bechdel's world, which isn't necessarily bad, but it's left me feeling a little overwhelmed.

Fun Home felt succinct but not like a neatly wrapped package where all the loose ends were tied up and everyone learned something and felt good about themselves in the end. And that's what was great about it. I felt like I got a very detailed glimpse into Bechdel's childhood.

Are You My Mother? felt messier. Citing analysts like Winnicott and Freud and heavily referencing Virginia Woolf (I didn't mind that so much) gave the novel such a textbook, back and forth feel. This is how I compared to this theory, this is my childhood just like this patient. Fun Home had the same sort of comparisons but there was a nicer flow. Again, I felt like I was trying to sort out Bechdel's brain and thoughts and emotions and that was fine. There was just SOOO much of it.

I still admire her greatly as an author and a woman. It takes courage to lay bare your thoughts and past. To be painstakingly honest about yourself is something to admire.
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03/19 marked as: read

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