Fun Home: A Fmaily Tragicomic


Author: Alison Bechdel

Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir, GLBTQ

Publication Date: June 2006

Number of Pages: 232

Geographical Setting: Pennsylvania

Time Period: 1960s and 70s

Plot Summary: Alison Bechdel has an interesting childhood to say the least.  Her father is restoring their Victorian style house where it seems as though they are living in a museum rather than family home.  The children also help in their family owned funeral home.  Alison grew up a tomboy, always fighting her father’s request that she wear a dress and barrette.  When she left for college she discovered her own sexuality and after coming out to her parents, she learned about her father’s as well.

Subject Headings: Death, GLBTQ, Father and Daughter, Funeral Home

Appeal: moving, character-driven, dark, well-drawn, complex, engaging, literary references, sexually explicit, inspirational

3 terms that best describe this book: compelling, witty, poignant

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Stitches by David Small

This graphic autobiography recounts Small’s troubled childhood with a tormented mother and a father who subjected him to repeated x-rays.  He escaped his problems through drawing.  Similar to Fun Home, Small also had a rough childhood with reluctant parenting. (graphic novel, bleak, moving)

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Burroughs is forced to live with his mother’s psychiatrist in his disturbing childhood, while his mother goes off and questions her sexuality.  His new family is curious at best as the children are left in charge of themselves for the most part.  Readers of Fun Home will see the similar troubling childhoods, but witty dialogue. (disturbing, funny, reflective)

Epileptic by David B.

B’s older brother was diagnosed with Epilepsy early on in his life and this graphic memoir details the story of how it affected his family, and the early roots of his cartoonist career.  Readers of Fun Home will enjoy this graphic novel about the family relationships in this coming of age autobiography. (graphic novel, moving, poignant)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking By Aoibheann Sweeney

Miranda’s mother has abandoned her and her father is an elusive scholar.  She is sent to live with her father’s friends and is marked by her loneliness and a vivid fantasy.  Similar to Fun Home, the main character struggles with a neglectful family. (moving, complex, lyrical)

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Enid and Rebecca are teenage friends dealing with the adverse prospect of adulthood and the future or their complicated relationship after graduating high school.  Readers of Fun Home will like the dark tone and focus on relationships in this novel. (graphic novel, darkly humorous, character-driven)

Martin Bauman: Or, A Sure Thing by David Leavitt

Martin,an insecure, gay newly college student, meets many young literary types on his quest to become a published writer and open about his sexuality.  Readers of Fun Home will like the witty style and literary story of another character who is unsure of his sexuality. (witty, moody, character-driven)

Name: Christina Freitag

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