This semester my school offered a Young Adult Literature class. And I had the joy of making it into the course with one of my favorite teachers and several of my good friends.
Our third book of the semester was Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.
Surprisingly, I had not read this book up yet (I don’t think it was on my summer list either). I know, I know. My gay self should void my queer card because its taken so long for me to read the number one book on the LGBTQ+ required reading list. Woops. At least that’s fixed now?
Without further adieu, let’s talk about Fun Home.
Fun Home is a memoir by Alison Bechdel in which Alison writes about her childhood, her family, and her journey of identity and self.
This graphic novel has so much depth. With literary and cross-discipline references, it can be a daunting read. But I promise you those references truly open up the book.
Upon my first read, I made notes as I went, of places where I wanted to go back. And now that I’m going through again, I am in awe of Bechdel’s writing. There’s hidden details in the references, in the details about her father, the vocabulary, and things I did not put together the first time.
The parallels, the crosses, the convergence and divergence. When people joke that “graphic novels aren’t literature,” I want to point them at this book.
The single-volume memoir’s frames are engaging, and lend much to the story. Without them I don’t think the prose could stand alone nearly as well. And I think that’s what makes Fun Home work so well in this form.
Bechdel planned this graphic novel with such precision that the larger picture of woven memories, family details, and conclusions, wrapped in literary and philosophical references creates an impressive work that lends a voice to the deceased, Bruce Bechdel. All of these details allow for the reader to draw their own conclusions while also growing with Alison, and feeling her emotions grip you right through the page.
I would recommend Fun Home to anyone that wants to experience another memoir in such a unique format. Don’t be afraid to highlight or mark spots where you might not understand. I promise it’s worth it. However, if you’re not in the mood to do that much research, stay tuned to my blog and my YouTube channel. I’m working on some scripts and videos that will cover not only my thoughts on Fun Home, but also will explain the references more in-depth.
What were your thoughts on Fun Home? Did you think the graphic novel was too literary? Would you be interested in learning more about the depths of the novel? Want more information about the cross-discipline references? Let me know in the comments below!