A memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father--a funeral home director, high school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.
In this groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. In her hands, personal history becomes a work of amazing subtlety and power, written with controlled force and enlivened with humor, rich literary allusion, and heartbreaking detail. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the "Fun Home." It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic has quickly joined the ranks of celebrated literary graphic novels. Set in part at a family-run funeral home, the book explores Alison’s complicated relationship with her father, a closeted gay man. Amid the tensions of her home life, Alison discovers her own lesbian sexuality and her talent for drawing. The coming-of-age story and graphic format appeal to students. However, the book’s nonlinear structure; intertextuality with modernist novels, Greek myths, and other works; and frank representations of sexuality and death present challenges in the classroom. This volume offers strategies for teaching Fun Home in a variety of courses, including literature, women’s and gender studies, art, and education. Part 1, “Materials,â€ outlines the text’s literary, historical, and theoretical allusions. The essays of part 2, “Approaches,â€ emphasize the work’s genres, including autobiography and graphic narrative, as well as its psychological dimensions, including trauma, disability, and queer identity. The essays give options for reading Fun Home along with Bechdel’s letters and drafts; her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For; the Broadway musical adaptation of the book; and other stories of LGBTQ lives.
The New York Times–bestselling graphic memoir about Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, becoming the artist her mother wanted to be. Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood…and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It's a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers. A New York Times, USA Today, Time, Slate, and Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year “As complicated, brainy, inventive and satisfying as the finest prose memoirs.”—New York Times Book Review “A work of the most humane kind of genius, bravely going right to the heart of things: why we are who we are. It's also incredibly funny. And visually stunning. And page-turningly addictive. And heartbreaking.”—Jonathan Safran Foer “Many of us are living out the unlived lives of our mothers. Alison Bechdel has written a graphic novel about this; sort of like a comic book by Virginia Woolf. You won't believe it until you read it—and you must!”—Gloria Steinem
Theatre has long been considered a feminine interest for which women consistently purchase the majority of tickets, while the shows they are seeing typically are written and brought to the stage by men. Furthermore, the stories these productions tell are often about men, and the complex leading roles in these shows are written for and performed by male actors. Despite this imbalance, the feminist voice presses to be heard and has done so with more success than ever before. In From Aphra Behn to Fun Home: A Cultural History of Feminist Theatre, Carey Purcell traces the evolution of these important artists and productions over several centuries. After examining the roots of feminist theatre in early Greek plays and looking at occasional works produced before the twentieth century, Purcell then identifies the key players and productions that have emerged over the last several decades. This book covers the heyday of the second wave feminist movement—which saw the growth of female-centric theatre groups—and highlights the work of playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, Pam Gems, and Wendy Wasserstein. Other prominent artists discussed here include playwrights Paula Vogel Lynn and Tony-award winning directors Garry Hynes and Julie Taymor. The volume also examines diversity in contemporary feminist theatre—with discussions of such playwrights as Young Jean Lee and Lynn Nottage—and a look toward the future. Purcell explores the very nature of feminist theater—does it qualify if a play is written by a woman or does it just need to feature strong female characters?—as well as how notable activist work for feminism has played a pivotal role in theatre. An engaging survey of female artists on stage and behind the scenes, From Aphra Behn to Fun Home will be of interest to theatregoers and anyone interested in the invaluable contributions of women in the performing arts.
Alison Bechdel's celebrated graphic memoir, lovingly adapted into a riveting new musical.
'Show me something I've never seen before and will never be able to forget - if you can do that, you can do anything.' It's 1957, long before computers have replaced the trained eye and skilful hand. Our narrator at State University is determined to major in Art, and after several risible false starts, he accidentally ends up in a new class: 'Introduction to Graphic Design'. His teacher is the enigmatic Winter Sorbeck, equal parts genius, seducer and sadist. Sorbeck is a bitter yet fascinating man whose assignments hurl his charges through a gauntlet of humiliation and heartache, shame and triumph, ego-bashing and enlightenment. Along the way, friendships are made and undone, jealousies simmer, and the sexual tango weaves and dips. By the end of their 'Introduction to Graphic Design', Sorbeck's students will never see the world in the same way again. And, with Chip Kidd's insights into the secrets of graphic design, neither will you.
From the author of Fun Home, a profound graphic memoir of Bechdel's lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times Comics and cultural superstar Alison Bechdel delivers a deeply layered story of her fascination, from childhood to adulthood, with every fitness craze to come down the pike: from Jack LaLanne in the 60s ("Outlandish jumpsuit! Cantaloupe-sized guns!") to the existential oddness of present-day spin class. Readers will see their athletic or semi-active pasts flash before their eyes through an ever-evolving panoply of running shoes, bicycles, skis, and sundry other gear. But the more Bechdel tries to improve herself, the more her self appears to be the thing in her way. She turns for enlightenment to Eastern philosophers and literary figures, including Beat writer Jack Kerouac, whose search for self-transcendence in the great outdoors appears in moving conversation with the author’s own. This gifted artist and not-getting-any-younger exerciser comes to a soulful conclusion. The secret to superhuman strength lies not in six-pack abs, but in something much less clearly defined: facing her own non-transcendent but all-important interdependence with others. A heartrendingly comic chronicle for our times.
Amy Bloom was nominated for a National Book Award for her first collection, Come to Me, and her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Story, Antaeus, and other magazines, and in The Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. In her new collection, she enhances her reputation as a true artist of the form. Here are characters confronted with tragedy, perplexed by emotions, and challenged to endure whatever modern life may have in store. A loving mother accompanies her daughter in her journey to become a man, and discovers a new, hopeful love. A stepmother and stepson meet again after fifteen years and a devastating mistake, and rediscover their familial affection for each other. And in "The Story," a widow bent on seducing another woman's husband constructs and deconstructs her story until she has "made the best and happiest ending" possible "in this world." From the Trade Paperback edition.
In his first novel, A Happy Death, written when he was in his early twenties and retrieved from his private papers following his death in I960, Albert Camus laid the foundation for The Stranger, focusing in both works on an Algerian clerk who kills a man in cold blood. But he also revealed himself to an extent that he never would in his later fiction. For if A Happy Death is the study of a rule-bound being shattering the fetters of his existence, it is also a remarkably candid portrait of its author as a young man. As the novel follows the protagonist, Patrice Mersault, to his victim's house -- and then, fleeing, in a journey that takes him through stages of exile, hedonism, privation, and death -it gives us a glimpse into the imagination of one of the great writers of the twentieth century. For here is the young Camus himself, in love with the sea and sun, enraptured by women yet disdainful of romantic love, and already formulating the philosophy of action and moral responsibility that would make him central to the thought of our time. Translated from the French by Richard Howard