Fun Home

Fun Home

A Family Tragicomic

Book - 2006
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2006
ISBN: 9780618871711
Characteristics: 232 p. : chiefly ill. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Eisner Award winner 2007

Bechdel explores the life and death of her father in this coming-of-age graphic novel memoir.

ArapahoeLauraRose Jul 27, 2018

Next time someone tells you "graphic novels aren't REAL literature," hand them this. WOW but Bechdel is one smart lady! On the surface, Bechdel's tragicomic memoir is about her relationship with her father, and about coming out as a lesbian, which she did just before her father's death.... Read More »

ArapahoeJennieB 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... Read More »

ArapahoeSteffen 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 ga... Read More »

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Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Sep 18, 2019

This title was recently included on a New York Times list of best memoirs, and while it may seem like an unusual choice given the format, I think its spot was well deserved. I found it extremely interesting, dark and funny in equal measure, both well written and drawn, and just generally solid. If you've yet to give graphic novels a chance, this is a good place to start.

Aug 26, 2019

There are so many layers to this story. Not every event is relatable, but a lot of it is: the way it examines the relationship of a child with her parents, the way it recounts the transitions from childhood to adulthood, the way we love our friends even when we see their imperfections (and the way that a parent can turn into a friend). I loved the references to literature & history throughout and how Bechdel used other stories' foundations and frames to build and show us her "Fun House"
A touching, confusing, nostalgic, blunt memoir--and a very worthwhile read.

Aug 18, 2019

Bechdel is equally skilled at drawing and writing in this graphic memoir. It tells her story of growing up with a father who is a closeted but active homosexual, a high school English teacher, a funeral home owner, and a restorer of that historical "fun home" in their small and somewhat claustrophobically close-knit Pennsylvania town. The story is not told in simple chronological order, but in a series of chapters that orbit key events in her father's life, particularly his death -- either by accident or suicide at age 44 -- and her own experiences with childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder and increasing clarity about her lesbian identity. This is a sometimes funny, sometimes acerbic, sometimes tender, but always unflinchingly honest memoir of an unusual upbringing.

SnoIsleLib_AlyssaS Jan 15, 2019

Alison and her brother call their family's funeral home, where they live, the "Fun Home" for short. This graphic novel memoir appeals on multiple levels. Though Alison Bechdel's philosophical ponderings can be intimidating, they work seamlessly into the darkly humorous tale of tragic family drama and personal discovery. Its frank portrayal of lesbian love and coming out have made it a target for challenges in schools libraries.

Nov 19, 2018

This was an okay graphic novel. While I appreciated hearing about the author's life and learning about her complicated relationship with her father I was kind of bored the whole time.

VaughanPLMichael Nov 09, 2018

I love books like these. They really humble me in making me feel like an unintellectual. I can only touch or caress the brilliance of Bechdel, and even still, only grasp only some of it. This goes with many of the works that quoted.

A great way to present a memoir with very heavy concept.

ArapahoeLauraRose Jul 27, 2018

Next time someone tells you "graphic novels aren't REAL literature," hand them this. WOW but Bechdel is one smart lady! On the surface, Bechdel's tragicomic memoir is about her relationship with her father, and about coming out as a lesbian, which she did just before her father's death. But there are so many other layers! Among other things, Bechdel's memoir is jammed packed with literary references. Some, explicit in the narrative, play a strong role in her relationship with and understanding of her father. The illustrations carry other references, including the titles of a plethora of lesbian-feminist literature; familiar to lesbians of an age with Bechdel, and embedded in LGBTQ collective cultural heritage.

JessicaGma May 08, 2018

I now know why this is considered to be a top memoir in graphic novels. It's dark but also sort of heartbreakingly funny. Worth reading

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.

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Aug 26, 2019

Sexual Content: NSFW

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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