Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fun Home

I started Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel on the subway on my way to work this morning and could not put it down all day. I had a two hour break between presentations where I sat in a Starbucks completely absorbed in it. Then I spent another couple of hours with it on my couch.

It's a graphic novel memoir about a woman's strange family life. He father ran a funeral home and was a closeted homosexual. The story is very much about the pall that his shame and unhappiness cast on his family. The way they lived with something that was never said or understood but that which effected them all very much. It's also about how the daughter reconstructs her own and her family's past, how she begins to understand her anxieties and her relationships with her parents. It is interspersed with the unfolding of her own gay sexuality as well as her and her family's reading of literature. Joyce, Collette, Fitzgerald and Camus are very much entwined in the story. I thought it was excellent. It was incredibly sweet, and creepy, and fascinating, and moving.

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