Fun Home

By Alison Bechdel,

Book cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Book description

DISCOVER the BESTSELLING GRAPHIC MEMOIR behind the Olivier Award nominated musical.

'A sapphic graphic treat' The Times

A moving and darkly humorous family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison Bechdel's gothic drawings. If you liked Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis you'll love this.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked Fun Home as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about her enigmatic father and his ambiguous death paralleled my experience in so many ways that it made me feel less alone in my grief and puzzlement. Where she grew up in a funeral home, my brother and I grew up around grass-strip airports. Where her father was closeted gay, ours was closeted trans, and where her father stepped backwards into the path of a truck, our father was found in a field. Being told in a graphic format and by a fellow lesbian with ties to the Midwest made it all the more stirring.

I was drawn to this graphic memoir because, like me, Bechel grew up with a closeted parent in a heterosexual marriage while being a queer child herself. Like my memoir, Fun Home is also a coming-out story. Her art beautifully details the complexities of family life with both humor and gravitas. Some of the humor involves dead bodies, as her family runs a funeral home. Yet Bechdel must also grapple with profound loss: just after she comes out to her father, he dies by suicide, walking in front of a truck. She wonders if she can infer that he was…

Fun Home feels so intimate and profound. And though our experiences were nothing like Bechdel’s, it made us re-examine our childhoods and relationships with our parents. Poignant. Laugh out loud funny. And heartbreaking. It reaches universal themes by being incredibly specific, insightful, and honest. A perfect book.

Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about growing up with a father who directed a funeral home, and her complicated relationship with him, is on my short list of very favorite books. Each time I read it, I notice new details about the incredible drawings and writing, which are funny and heartbreaking and deal with themes of death and obsessive home decorating and mental health and sexuality.

Talk about the elephant in the room. The secret hiding in plain view in this amazing graphic memoir is that both Alison Bechdel and her father Bruce are gay, and their negotiations around what they know about each other and themselves, the things they say and do and the things they don’t, make this a fascinating read that drops deeper and deeper into questions of identity and family relations. Bechdel spent seven years creating the striking panels, which unfold slowly as the story progresses, deepening the text, complicating the relationships, asking compelling questions. Funny and painful, rich with literary allusion,…

From Leslie's list on the power of family secrets.

I’m a huge fan of queer graphic memoirs and Fun Home is my favourite one. It’s one of the most-read books on my bookshelf.

Moving between present-day and different times in her life, this stunningly illustrated book tells the story of how Bechdel comes into her own sexuality, woven together with her memories of her relationship with her father and how she came to understand his sexuality after his death. 

While this is only one person’s story, reading this book invites us to consider how our own sexualities were shaped by the place and time we grew up in, and…

From Meg-John's list on comic books about sexuality.

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