sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Alison Bechdel's second comic memoir. Her first was Fun Home and was about her father and her relationship with him. This one does the same with her mother.

I wasn't nearly so into this book as I was Fun Home. I think my biggest problem with it is that it just so very much about psychoanalysis, which is not a topic that interests me, and in fact I'm rather skeptical about given how based in Freudian theory it is, and how much of Freud's theories have been discredited.

The book really felt more like it was about the psychoanalysis of Alison's relationship with her mother instead of actually about her actual relationship with her mother. So for what it is, it's well done, but it's just not what I personally wanted to be reading.

Oh well. I was warned going in by the friend who lent me this book that it's not as good as Fun Home, so at least my expectations were appropriate going in so I didn't experience unexpected disappointment.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I've been intending to read this book for just about forever, I think? I mean, Alison Bechdel is so well known in feminist/queer sorts of circles. But it was just a sort of vague intention, until I came across a bootleg of the Fun Home musical (which I watched because there is literally no other way I am at all likely to be able to see this musical, more's the pity) and it was SO GOOD and then I really definitely needed to read this book.

And it was also SO GOOD. Different from the musical in some respects, of course, since it is inevitable that using a different medium to tell a story will have different results, but it feels the same. It's clear the Fun Home musical people did a remarkable job translating this narrative into a different format.

I was riveted by this book. I read it over the course of two lunchtimes at work, and at the end of the first I had SUCH trouble putting the book down! I felt a lot of affinity for Bechdel, even while her life and identity don't actually have a lot in common with mine. But there's still something there.

I'm not really sure how to talk about this book? In part because it's so different from the sorts of things I usually read - it's nonfiction, a memoir, a comic, with nonlinear narrative structure. But Bechdel uses the tools of her art (narrative and pictorial) with strength and great ability, and it all really works together to create a wonderful whole.

Highly recommended.

(in completely irrelevant thoughts about this book, Alison is a BECHDEL from PENNSYLVANIA and basically I am extremely curious whether she has Mennonite ancestry because I mean really.)

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sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
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