Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (Paperback)

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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic By Alison Bechdel Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Even though you kept secrets from your parents, remember the first time you realized that they had secrets, too? Secrets that they kept not only from you, but from one another? If you're me, you're making a terribly unflattering scrunched-up face at the mere thought. "Fun Home" is a whole book about that face. But fortunately, it's not the only face you'll make when you read this deeply literary memoir. You'll also nervously bite your lip the way you do when a book threatens to collapse under its own formal complexity, only to flare your eyebrows at the fact that Bechdel accomplishes every trick she attempts. Then you'll make that smile reserved for personal writing that reveals the universal, a smile that will broaden into a grin when you realize that a family so impossibly, simultaneously, Homeric, Joycean, Proustian, and Wildesque, consists of pretty regular people, who make all the same faces you do.

— Matt

The inspiring story of a young lesbian girl coupled with the tragic story of a middle-aged gay man. It's tempting to think that these two narratives (which also happen to be that of a daughter and her father) cancel one another out and leave one feeling apathetic. Far from it: like Bechdel's striking gray-scale graphics, light and dark entangle, underscore, and ultimately push one another to new artistic heights. She continually tries to separate the good from the bad, and despite her inability to do so she never gives up - recalling the high modernist authors both her and her father so ardently admired.

— Derek


Time Magazine #1 Book of the Year • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist • 
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award •  Double finalist for the Lambda Book Award 
Nominated for the 
GLAAD Media Award
Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir that charts her fraught relationship with her late father. 
Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail.

About the Author

ALISON BECHDEL’s cult following for her early comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For expanded wildly for her family memoirs, the New York Times bestselling and Time magazine #1 Book of the Year graphic memoir Fun Home, adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical, and Are You My Mother? Bechdel has been named a MacArthur Fellow and Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont, among many other honors. The Secret to Superman Strength is her third graphic memoir. 

Praise For…

"A splendid autobiography...refreshingly open and generous." Entertainment Weekly    "Fun Home must be the most ingeniously compact, hyper-verbose example of autobiography to have been produced. . . . pioneering." The New York Times Book Review    "A masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other." Time Magazine   "Graphic storytelling at its most profound." Los Angeles Times, Favorite Book of the Year   "The great writing of the twenty-first century may well be found in graphic novels and nonfiction....Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is an astonishing advertisement fro this emerging literary form." —USA Today    "Brilliant and bittersweet." The Boston Globe   "Beautiful combines the mundane with the macabre, adding doses of wry, poignant humor on every page." —Washington Post   "One of the best memoirs of the decade ... at once hypercontrolled and utterly intimate." New York Magazine, Best Books of the Year    "A revelation ... feels like a true literary achievement, something with characters who baffle and disappoint and break hears the way people do in life and in the best of prose." Minneapolis Star-Tribune   "If David Sedaris could draw, and if Bleak House had been a little funnier, you'd have Alison Bechdel's Fun Home." —Amy Bloom, author of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You   “Alison Bechdel – she’s one of the best, one to watch out for." —Harvey Pekar   " enormously successful work." —Village Voice    "A staggeringly literate and revealing autobiography." Seattle Times     "Brave and forthright and insightful--exactly what Alison Bechdel does best." —Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina   "Stupendous...mesmerizing...The details...are devastatingly captured by an artist in total control of her craft." —Chip Kidd, author of The Cheese Monkeys   "[Alison Bechdel] hits notes that resemble Jeanette Winterson at her best...She's made a story that's quiet [and] dignified." —Publishers Weekly, Starred   "[With] uncommon richness [and] depth...[Fun Home] shares as much in spirit with...other contemporary memoirists of considerable literary accomplishment." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred   "One of the very best graphic novels ever." —Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780618871711
ISBN-10: 0618871713
Publisher: Mariner Books Classics
Publication Date: June 5th, 2007
Pages: 240
Language: English