Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

This graphic novel explores one girl's journey toward discovering her homosexuality and her family's hidden secrets. She comes to terms with her father's obsession with restoring their historic home, his apparent suicide and his homosexuality (or bisexuality?).

After her parents abandoned their expatriate lifestyle to come back and run the family business, a funeral home (or fun home as it was not so affectionately referred to) Alison becomes intimately aware of the reality of death. Her father's obsession with the house, his mood swings and his forced daily contact with death is the basis for her childhood memories. In a house where each family member lived an isolated life she grows up to discover that she also has a secret. When she comes out, she is overshadowed by her father's many affairs with the young men who passed through her family's life.

In the end, she comes to terms with her sexuality and more importantly, her relationship with her father and can look at him with the start of affection and understanding. This is an exceptional graphic novel that explores complex subjects and relationships with humor and depth.

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