Book Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

I resisted reading Alison Bechdel’s “tragicomic”, Fun Homefor a number of years, not because I thought it wouldn’t like it, but because of the people who recommended it–all white professors who dissuaded me from continuing my study of rape. But now that I’ve rejected academia I’m suddenly finding all sorts of things accessible that felt like chores before. I have to admit that I am glad that I waited to read this. I am thankful that I read Fun Home for the pure enjoyment of reading, because, boy, is it enjoyable.

Bechdel’s artistic and narrative style won’t be anything new to those familiar with independent comic artists like Harvey Kietel & R. Crumb or Art Spiegleman, but her story is unique in its politicization. Bechdel intertwines her story with her parents’ individual and collective stories, and roots them all in history without compromising read-/relateability. She humanizes political struggles while making the case for bookishness and autodidacticism. The only thing I found lacking in this book was the dearth of diversity. However, given the autobiographical nature of this story, perhaps that is less a commentary on Bechdel herself, as much as it is an indicator of the generally segregated state of our country.

So, read Fun Home. Buy it for the politically conscious and the comics-lovers alike, but whatever you do, please enjoy it for the well-crafted art it is.

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