Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
A Family Tragicomic

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Synopsis

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic -- and redemptive.
 

About Alison Bechdel

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ALISON BECHDEL has been a careful archivist of her own life and kept a journal since she was ten. Since 1983 she has been chronicling the lives of various characters in the fictionalized “Dykes to Watch Out For” strip, “one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period” (Ms.). The strip is syndicated in 50 alternative newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and collected into a book series with a quarter of a million copies in print. Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as “one of the greatest hits of the twentieth century.”
 
Published June 8, 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Comics & Graphic Novels, Gay & Lesbian, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fun Home

Kirkus Reviews

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Bechdel's memoir offers a graphic narrative of uncommon richness, depth, literary resonance and psychological complexity.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Publishers Weekly

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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 funer

Feb 27 2006 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

The New York Times

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Alison Bechdel grapples with the legacy of her father, a closeted gay man who was the town undertaker.

Jun 18 2006 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

The New York Times

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This is one of the great truths of nonfiction writing, and I would amplify by pointing out that the emotion and depth of "Fun Home," as with all honest memoirs, come entirely of watching Bechdel try to make sense of the confusing facts of her own life and history.

Jun 18 2006 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Publishers Weekly

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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).

| Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

NPR

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NPR coverage of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

Nov 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Entertainment Weekly

Just when I thought I couldn't take another dysfunctional childhood memoir, when I least wanted to sit down to yet another litany of nutty parents, adolescent woe, and awkward sexual awakening, along comes Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, a splendid autobiography in the refreshingly tart (and svelte!)...

May 31 2006 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Pajiba

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. By pyrajane | Book Reviews | February 4, 2011 | Comments (. View. ) ...

Feb 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Slate

Her graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, was a finalist for a 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Mar 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

https://bookpage.com

Making Comics by Scott McCloud author of the groundbreaking Understanding Comics explains in step-by-step chapters how and why comics work to illustrate a story, and how the reader can use them to tell their own.

Mar 11 2016 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Bookmarks Magazine

Alison Bechdel, author of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, taps her skills as both writer and illustrator in this graphic memoir.

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Literary Exploration

January 2, 2015 Michael Kitto Alison Bechdel, Graphic Novel, Non-Fiction 0.

Jun 18 2015 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Time Magazine

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To celebrate Alison Bechdel's highly anticipated new release, Are You My Mother?, TIME looks back at other unforgettable autobiographical comics

Apr 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

New York Magazine

I drew all the time, but I didn’t draw women because … well, it’s a very complicated story and I can’t possibly summarize it now, but it was only when I came out that it struck me: I’m attracted to women, why can’t I draw women?

Jun 18 2015 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Vulture

Fun Home is still basically what it was when I reviewed it in 2013: the story, based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic memoir, of a lesbian cartoonist trying in middle age to understand her father, who killed himself shortly after revealing to her that he, too, was gay.

Jun 18 2015 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Vulture

Among her most consequential choices was dividing the character of Alison into three Alisons at different ages, each played by a different actor: the adult Alison at 43, trying to write her book;

Jun 18 2015 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Windy City Media

On July 2, 1980, when she was 20, Alison Bechdel's father, Bruce, was killed by a truck as he crossed a road.

Jul 04 2007 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Book Line And Sinker

... Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Author: Alison Bechdel ... Book Reviews Tagged With: Alison Bechdel, book line and sinker, book review, ...

Nov 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Women's Memoirs

... Memoir Review: Alison Bechdel brings a new depth of memoir expression in her graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. This is an ...

Mar 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Hooded Utilitarian

Mr. Bechdel was reading Albert Camus’s A Happy Death before he died, he had a copy of The Myth of Sisyphus from college, a college photograph shows Mr. Bechdel smoking, and Camus smoked.

May 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Queer Fat Femme

Additionally, the family’s funeral home business (the “fun home”), time traveling to college when Alison came out, and in the musical there is time traveling to present day while Alison is working on the graphic memoir and trying to understand her father.

Jun 18 2015 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

CBR

... When I was responding to Burgas' Fun Home not-review (as opposed to his Fun Home review, which was good) I called ABC a kid's book.

Jan 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Reader Rating for Fun Home
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 217 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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