2007. 98. Fun Home

“Like many fathers, mine could occasionally be prevailed upon for a spot of “airplane.”

Fun Home, Alison Bechdel

        This graphic novel was one of the sensations of last year - National Book Critic Circle Award Finalist*, Time’s #1 book of the year, and on the best book of the year list in everything from The New York Times to The Guardian to USA Today.  It deserves all the praise it got, and it would be a great introduction to graphic novels for someone who is wary of them.  It is a memoir that Blechel has written about her childhood, and specifically her father.  He was a perfectionist, and cold, an English teacher and funeral director (the “fun home” of the title), and he committed suicide (maybe) when she was in her twenties.  This was just a few weeks after Alison had come out of the closet, and after her mother informed her that her father was himself gay.  A lot of plot, for sure, but what makes the book so great is the way that Bechdel combines the graphics with insightful and literary prose to make a us not only sympathize with both her and her father, but to feel like we were living in that not-so-fun home, and experiencing what it was like to grow up in such a place.

       Recommended for: Anyone who is a member of a family and wants to think more about what a family is; anyone who has never read a graphic novel; anyone who has...

*Though I sometimes take that with a grain of salt - i.e. Veronica and March.

Date/Place Completed: 7/7/07; D.C.

Categories: Non-Fiction; Graphic Novel

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017