Fun Home

Fun Home

A Family Tragicomic

Graphic Novel - 2006
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A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic -- and redemptive.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
ISBN: 9780618477944
Branch Call Number: GN 741.5973 BECHDEL
Characteristics: 232 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

LPL_ShirleyB Jun 14, 2017

This is such a well-written complex & intense​ autobiographical story of the author's coming of age in a dysfunctional family--focused on the father's abusive, but charismatic personality!
This book is a 3-time award winner: Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography, Stonewall Book... Read More »

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GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 19, 2017

The author recounts her fraught history with her distant father, who - late in life - she discovered was also gay. Good for fans for warts and all family dramas and awkward holiday dinners.

SCL_Justin Jul 25, 2017

Alison Bechdel’s book Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a memoir in comics form. It’s mostly about growing up and dealing with her father’s homosexuality (at the same time she was coming out as a lesbian) and his criminal behaviour with some of his students, and his death. Which may have been a suicide.

She doesn’t tell it straightforwardly, but circles around events and brings things back and forth through time echoing dreams the way memory does at its best. It starts with the house her father was constantly renovating. It deals with life in a funeral home. There are neglected dreams and OCD episodes. It’s painful and terrible and everything seems fraught with meaning.

It’s very much a personal story. It’s the kind of story that makes you ask “how do the people she wrote about feel about this?” It’s courageous and self-absorbed in a way I can’t help but admire. Really great work.

Jul 21, 2017

I read it because my husband and I saw the musical before we left D.C. I think that was actually the last piece of theatre we saw before we moved. It was a decent performance. At the time, I was struck by the simplicity and strategic repetition of the lyrics. But I've been incredibly impressed how much the songs have stuck with me and how much I've listened to the cast album since.

I think going from the musical to the source material made me appreciate how much liberty Lisa Kron took with Bechdal's work. It was an adaptation and they exist definitively as two different works, yet there is also a way in which they harmonize.

Fun Home has powerful and skillful allusions to literary masterpieces that I am so glad Kron did not try to tackle. It worked incredibly well in print, in part because there was time for Bechdal to do the work to set it up. I think sometimes it felt a little forced, then she would keep pushing and a point or an illustration would just make it resonate and feel worth it.

There is a wit, an honesty, and a willingness to demonstrate beautiful (if not brutal) questions that drives this work. And I will never look at a package of Sunbeam bread again. Seriously, the way she litter that loaf of bread throughout the book is astounding.

LPL_ShirleyB Jun 14, 2017

This is such a well-written complex & intense​ autobiographical story of the author's coming of age in a dysfunctional family--focused on the father's abusive, but charismatic personality!
This book is a 3-time award winner: Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography, Stonewall Book Awards - Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award and GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book.

May 08, 2017

I'm usually not a GN fan but this was hard to put down.

Apr 10, 2017

This book showed up on my class reading list, but I hadn't looked anything up about it until I bought it from the bookstore. I wasn't expecting a graphic novel, to say the least, but I was immediately intrigued because of it.
This book recounts the author's life, growing up in a funeral home, discovering her sexuality, and coming to terms with the relationship she had with her late father.
I really liked it. There was no sugar-coating. Only the facts and the raw, unashamed truth were given to the reader. This display of transparent honesty is what, to me, makes this book so likable. You don't feel as though you are being deceived or lulled into a make-believe fantasy land of someone's ideal childhood. You instead feel as though the author is reaching out to you, trying to connect with you in a real, emotional and human way.
The reader follows Alison as she realizes and comes to terms with being a lesbian, as she deals with the sudden and mysterious death of her father, and discovers her father's own sexual preferences.
Amazing book, would recommend to anyone interested.

AL_JENNIEB Jan 19, 2017

An autobiography told in graphic novel form. Alison Bechdel's memoir is gritty, funny, heartwarming, and "graphic." The author's wit and humor while reliving her "unconventional" childhood, and her adventures as a young lesbian coming out to her closeted father will reel you in with its' authenticity, and keeps you captivated until the last page.

AL_STEFFEN Nov 23, 2016

I really enjoyed this; it was one of the most cerebral things I've read since graduating.
A well-read lesbian's biography which focuses mainly on her father, and her childhood in the 1970s. Turns out that her father was a closeted gay man for her entire upbringing, and not a flamboyantly fun gay man. Author Alison Bechdel's personal narrative is raw and dark, but level headed and very captivating.

SquamishLibraryStaff Mar 31, 2016

This is a beautiful, heartfelt, intimate story told through incredible illustrations and poetic prose. You'll want to read it again to catch even more details the second time around!

JCLAngelicaR Feb 26, 2016

This is definitely a very different graphic novel read. It’s a graphic novel memoir. A coming-out story. It’s about a self-realization thanks to books in one’s life. It’s about survival while growing up in a dysfunctional family. The book received an extraordinary acclaim. It shows not only an appreciation of the masterfully done literary work but also a staggering magnitude of applicability. May the story be that cathartic experience need by many.

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Nov 29, 2010

Sexual Content: Some nudity and sexual acts.


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Jul 03, 2012

"If there was ever a bigger pansy than my father, it was Marcel Proust."


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