41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
A compassionate memoir which nevertheless doesn't shrink from difficult truths.,
This review is from: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Paperback)
Alison Bechdel offers a work of rare honesty and flair. In this graphic novel autobiography, she explores the life and death of her father, and chronicles her own growing-up years within an unusual family. The Bechdels' funeral home business serves as an accidentally apt metaphor for the emotional austerity of a home where Alison's father is gay, closeted and often unhappy with himself and others; and where, seemingly unnoticed, the young Alison is growing into her own sexuality, and her identity as a lesbian.
The book interweaves incidents from family and individual lives with Alison's childhood journal entries, her father's photographs, and scenes from the books she and her father share as a form of personal communication and analysis. This scrapbook approach blends narrative and character development perfectly, and reminds us how often we are defined by, and seek to understand ourselves better through, the things we love.
I was often struck forcefully - as I rarely have been when reading autobiography - by the fact that these were real people. This immediacy seems the result of a combination of the medium and the author's decision to lay bare the most compelling and difficult questions of her own family life.