Monday, October 28, 2013

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Written by: Alison Bechdel

First line: Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed upon for a spot of "airplane."

Why you should read this book: Bechdel, whose name has become synonymous with the act of determining whether a work of cinema treats female characters as actual human beings or set pieces to illustrate a male hero's masculinity, has aptly named this memoir a "tragicomic," as it is written in the graphic novel medium, and has its (wry) comic moments, but ultimately demonstrates the tragedy of life in the closet. As Bechdel matures and discovers that she is a lesbian, she struggles with the new understanding that, throughout his entire marriage to her mother, her father has carried on affairs with much younger men. Through an examination of letters, journal entries, classic literature, the details of her family's house and business, and certain episodes throughout her life, the author comes to terms with her father's reality and his legacy to her.

Why you shouldn't read this book: The tragedy. Also, if you will lose your mind upon witnessing tasteful illustrations of cunnilingus.

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