Fun Home

Fun Home

infobox Book |
name = Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic


image_caption = Cover of the hardback edition
author = Alison Bechdel
cover_artist = Alison Bechdel
country = United States
language = English
genre = Graphic novel, Memoir
publisher = Houghton Mifflin (hardcover);
Mariner Books (paperback)
release_date = June 8, 2006
media_type = Print (hardcover, paperback)
pages = 240 p.
isbn = ISBN 0-618-47794-2 (hardcover);
ISBN 0-618-87171-3 (paperback)|

"Fun Home" (subtitled "A Family Tragicomic") is a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, author of the comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For". It chronicles the author's childhood and youth in rural Pennsylvania, USA, focusing on her complex relationship with her father. The book addresses themes of sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide and the role of literature in understanding oneself and one's family. Writing and illustrating "Fun Home" took seven years, in part because of Bechdel's laborious artistic process, which includes photographing herself in poses for each human figure.Citation
last = Emmert
first = Lynn
date = April 2007
title= Life Drawing
periodical=The Comics Journal
publication-place=Seattle, Washington
publisher=Fantagraphics Books
issue=282
pages=p. 36
url=http://www.tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=598&Itemid=48
accessdate=2007-08-06
.] Citation
last = Emmert
first = Lynn
date = April 2007
title= Life Drawing
periodical=The Comics Journal
publication-place=Seattle, Washington
publisher=Fantagraphics Books
issue=282
pages=pp. 44–48
. Print edition only.] cite web |url=http://www.sevendaysvt.com/features/2006/life-drawing.html |title=Life Drawing |accessdate=2007-08-07 |last=Harrison |first=Margot |date=2006-05-31 |work=Seven Days] cite web |url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CBdhxVFEGc |title=OCD |accessdate=2007-08-07 |last=Bechdel |first=Alison |authorlink=Alison Bechdel |date=2006-04-18 |format=video |publisher=YouTube]

"Fun Home" has been both a popular and critical success, and spent two weeks on the "New York Times" Best Seller list.cite news |title=Hardcover Nonfiction |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/books/bestseller/0709besthardnonfiction.html?ex=1155096000&en=aaca93d5bcae9024&ei=5070 |format=free registration required |work=The New York Times |date=2006-07-09 |accessdate=2006-12-18 ] cite news |title=Hardcover Nonfiction |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/16/books/bestseller/0716besthardnonfiction.html?ex=1155096000&en=516fbdccced8ce0c&ei=5070 |format=free registration required |work=The New York Times |date=2006-07-16 |accessdate=2006-12-18 ] In "The New York Times Sunday Book Review", Sean Wilsey called it "a pioneering work, pushing two genres (comics and memoir) in multiple new directions."cite news
first = Sean
last = Wilsey
author = Sean Wilsey
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/18/books/review/18wilsey.html?ex=1155009600&en=491c2ec2373a9fee&ei=5070
format=free registration required
title = The Things They Buried
work = Sunday Book Review
publisher = The New York Times
date = 2006-06-18
accessdate = 2006-08-07
] Several publications named "Fun Home" as one of the best books of 2006; it was also nominated for several awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and three Eisner Awards (one of which it won). [cite web |url=http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/reviews-and-interviews |title=Fun Home press |accessdate=2007-08-14 |last=Bechdel |first=Alison |authorlink=Alison Bechdel |work=dykestowatchoutfor.com] cite web |url=http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_07win.shtml |title=The 2007 Eisner Awards: Winners List |accessdate=2007-07-31 |work=San Diego Comic-Con website ] A French translation of "Fun Home" was serialized in the newspaper "Libération"; the book was an official selection of the Angoulême International Comics Festival and has been the subject of an academic conference in France.cite web |url=http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/tour-de-france |title=Tour de France |accessdate=2007-08-08 |last=Bechdel |first=Alison |authorlink=Alison Bechdel |date=2006-07-26 |work=Blog] cite web |url=http://www.bdangouleme.com/prixJury/index.ideal?action=nommes&annee=2007&id=10&voir=tout |title=Official 2007 Selection |accessdate=2007-08-08 |publisher=Angoulême International Comics Festival |language=English] cite web |url=http://www.transatlantica.org/document1227.html |title=There's No Place like (Fun) Home |accessdate=2007-08-08 |last=Cherbuliez |first=Juliette |date=2007-01-25 |work=Transatlantica]

"Fun Home" also generated controversy: a public library in Missouri removed "Fun Home" from its shelves for five months after local residents objected to its contents.cite news |first=David |last=Twiddy |title=As more graphic novels appear in libraries, so do challenges |url=http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/14/arts/NA_A-E_BKS_US_Banned_Graphic_Novels.php |work=Associated Press |publisher=International Herald Tribune |date=2006-11-14 |accessdate=2007-08-14 ] cite news
first = Rachel
last = Harper
title = Library board approves new policy/Material selection policy created, controversial books returned to shelves
url = http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1193923.html
work = The Marshall Democrat-News
date = 2007-03-15
accessdate = 2007-03-15
]

Plot and thematic summary

The narrative of "Fun Home" is non-linear and recursive.cite news
first = Hillary
last = Chute
url = http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0628,chute,73800,10.html
title = Gothic Revival
publisher = The Village Voice
date = 2006-07-11
accessdate = 2006-08-07
] Incidents are told and re-told in the light of new information or themes. [Citation
last =Deppey
first =Dirk
date = 2007-01-18
title = 12 Days
edition = Web Extras
periodical = The Comics Journal
url = http://tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=510&Itemid=70
accessdate = 2007-08-16
.
] Bechdel describes the structure of "Fun Home" as a labyrinth, "going over the same material, but starting from the outside and spiraling in to the center of the story."cite video |people=Bechdel, Alison (Interviewee), Seidel, Dena (Editor) |year2=2008 |title=Alison Bechdel's Graphic Narrative |url=http://wh.rutgers.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140:alison-bechdels-graphic-narrative&catid=52:warVideos&Itemid=91 |format=Flash video |medium=Web video |publisher=Rutgers University Writers House |location=New Brunswick, New Jersey |accessdate=2008-04-16 |time=04:57 ] In an essay on memoirs and truth in the academic journal "PMLA", Nancy K. Miller explains that as Bechdel revisits scenes and themes "she re-creates memories in which the force of attachment generates the structure of the memoir itself."cite journal
last = Miller
first = Nancy K.
year = 2007
month = March
title = The Entangled Self: Genre Bondage in the Age of the Memoir
journal = PMLA
volume = 122
issue = 2
pages = 543–544
issn = 0030-8129
doi = 10.1632/pmla.2007.122.2.537
url = http://www.mlajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1632/pmla.2007.122.2.537
format = subscription required for online access
accessdate = 2007-08-16
] Additionally, the memoir derives its structure from allusions to various works of literature, Greek myth and visual arts; the events of Bechdel's family life during her childhood and adolescence are presented through this allusive lens. Miller notes that the narratives of the referenced literary texts "provide clues, both true and false, to the mysteries of family relations."

The memoir centers on Alison Bechdel's family but gives particular attention to her relationship with her father, Bruce. Bruce Bechdel was a funeral director and high school English teacher in Beech Creek, where Alison and her siblings grew up. The book's title comes from the family nickname for the funeral home, the family business in which Bruce Bechdel grew up and later worked. [cite book |last=Bechdel |first=Alison |authorlink=Alison Bechdel |title=Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic |year=2006 |publisher=Houghton Mifflin |location=New York |isbn=0-618-47794-2 |pages=p. 36 ] His two occupations are reflected in "Fun Home"'s focus on death and literature.cite news
first = George Gene
last = Gustines
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/26/books/26gust.html?ex=1155009600&en=88647dc021a0b412&ei=5070
format=free registration required
title = 'Fun Home': A Bittersweet Tale of Father and Daughter
publisher = The New York Times
date = 2006-06-26
accessdate = 2006-08-07
]

On one level, the memoir traces Bruce Bechdel's obsession with restoring the family's Victorian home. His concentrated pursuit of this long-term aesthetic quest is connected to his emotional distance from his family, which he expressed in coldness and occasional bouts of abusive rage. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 11, 18, 21, 68–69, 71.] This emotional distance, in turn, is connected with his closeted homosexual tendencies.cite journal
last = Hamer
first = Diane Ellen
year = 2006
month = May
title = My Father, My Self
journal = Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide
volume = 13
issue = 3
pages = 37
issn = 1532-1118
url = http://www.glreview.com/issues/13.3/13.3-hamer.php
accessdate = 2007-08-16
] Bruce Bechdel had homosexual relationships in the military and with his high school students; some of those students were also family friends and babysitters. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 58–59, 61, 71, 79, 94–95, 120.] At the age of 44, two weeks after his wife requested a divorce, he stepped into the path of an oncoming Sunbeam Bread truck and was killed. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 27–30, 59, 85.] Although the evidence is equivocal, Alison Bechdel concludes that her father committed suicide. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 23, 27–29, 89, 116–117, 125, 232.] cite interview |last=Bechdel |first=Alison |subjectlink=Alison Bechdel |interviewer=Michelle Paradise |title=Alison Bechdel: Comic Con 2007 |type= |url=http://www.velvetparkmagazine.com/blogit/ |format=Flash Video |program=Velvetpark website video |date= |accessdate=2007-08-24 ]

The story also deals with Alison Bechdel's own struggle with her sexual identity, culminating in the realization that she is a lesbian and her coming out to her parents. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 58, 74–81, ] The memoir frankly examines her sexual development, including transcripts from her childhood diary, anecdotes about masturbation, and tales of her first sexual experiences. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 76, 80–81, 140–143, 148–149, 153, 157–159, 162, 168–174, 180–181, 183–186, 207, 214–215, 224.] In addition to their common homosexuality, Alison and Bruce Bechdel share obsessive-compulsive tendencies and artistic leanings, albeit with opposing aesthetic senses: "I was Spartan to my father's Athenian. Modern to his Victorian. Butch to his nelly. Utilitarian to his aesthete." [Bechdel, "Fun Home", p. 15.] This opposition was a source of tension in their relationship, as both tried to express their dissatisfaction with their given gender roles: "Not only were we inverts, we were inversions of each other. While I was trying to compensate for something unmanly in him, he was attempting to express something feminine through me. It was a war of cross-purposes, and so doomed to perpetual escalation." [Bechdel, "Fun Home", p. 98.] However, shortly before Bruce Bechdel's death, he and his daughter have a conversation which is presented as a partial resolution to this conflict. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 220–221.]

At several points in the book, Bechdel questions whether her decision to come out as a lesbian was one of the triggers for her father's suicide. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 57–59, 86, 117, 230–232.] This question is never answered definitively, but Bechdel closely examines the connection between her father's closeted sexuality and her own open lesbianism, revealing her debt to her father in both positive and negative lights.

Allusions

The allusive references used in "Fun Home" are not merely structural or stylistic: Bechdel writes, "I employ these allusions ... not only as descriptive devices, but because my parents are most real to me in fictional terms. And perhaps my cool aesthetic distance itself does more to convey the Arctic climate of our family than any particular literary comparison." [Bechdel, "Fun Home", p. 67] Bechdel, as the narrator, considers her relationship to her father through the myth of Daedalus and Icarus. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 3–4, 231–232.] As a child, she confused her family and their Gothic Revival home with the Addams Family seen in the cartoons of Charles Addams. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 34–35.] Bruce Bechdel's suicide is discussed with reference to Albert Camus' novel "A Happy Death" and essay "The Myth of Sisyphus". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 27–28, 47–49.] His careful construction of an aesthetic and intellectual world is compared to "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the narrator suggests that Bruce Bechdel modeled elements of his life after Fitzgerald's, as portrayed in the biography "The Far Side of Paradise". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 61–66, 84–86.] His wife Helen is compared with the protagonists of the Henry James novels "Washington Square" and "The Portrait of a Lady". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 66–67, 70–71.] Helen Bechdel was an amateur actress, and plays in which she acted are also used to illuminate aspects of her marriage. She met Bruce Bechdel when the two were appearing in a college production of "The Taming of the Shrew", and Alison Bechdel intimates that this was "a harbinger of my parents' later marriage". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 69–70.] Helen Bechdel's role as Lady Bracknell in a local production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" is shown in some detail; Bruce Bechdel is compared with Oscar Wilde. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 154–155, 157–158, 163–168, 175, 180, 186.] His homosexuality is also examined with allusion to Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 92–97, 102, 105, 108–109, 113, 119–120.] The father and daughter's artistic and obsessive-compulsive tendencies are discussed with reference to E. H. Shepard's illustrations for "The Wind in the Willows". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 130–131, 146–147, 150.] Bruce and Alison Bechdel exchange hints about their sexualities by exchanging memoirs: the father gives the daughter "Earthly Paradise", an autobiographical collection of the writings of Colette; shortly afterwards, in what Alison Bechdel describes as "an eloquent unconscious gesture", she leaves a library copy of Kate Millett's memoir "Flying" for him. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 205, 207–208, 217–220, 224, 229.] Finally, returning to the Daedalus myth, Alison Bechdel casts herself as Stephen Dedalus and her father as Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's "Ulysses", with parallel references to the myth of Telemachus and Odysseus. [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 201–216, 221–223, 226, 228–231.]

In addition to the literary allusions which are explicitly acknowledged in the text, Bechdel incorporates visual allusions to television programs and other items of pop culture into her artwork, often as images on a television in the background of a panel. These visual references include the film "It's a Wonderful Life", Bert and Ernie of "Sesame Street", the Smiley Face, Yogi Bear, "Batman", the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, the resignation of Richard Nixon and "The Flying Nun". [Bechdel, "Fun Home", pp. 10–11 ("It's a Wonderful Life"), 14 ("Sesame Street"), 15 (Smiley Face), 92 (Yogi Bear), 130 ("Batman"), 174–175 (Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote), 181 (Nixon), 131, 193 ("The Flying Nun").]

Artwork

"Fun Home" is drawn in black line art with a gray-green ink wash. Sean Wilsey wrote that "Fun Home"'s panels "combine the detail and technical proficiency of R. Crumb with a seriousness, emotional complexity and innovation completely its own." Writing in the "Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide", Diane Ellen Hamer contrasted "Bechdel's habit of drawing her characters very simply and yet distinctly" with "the attention to detail that she devotes to the background, those TV shows and posters on the wall, not to mention the intricacies of the funeral home as a recurring backdrop." Bechdel told an interviewer for "The Comics Journal" that the richness of each panel of "Fun Home" was very deliberate:quote|It's very important for me that people be able to read the images in the same kind of gradually unfolding way as they're reading the text. I don't like pictures that don't have information in them. I want pictures that you have to read, that you have to decode, that take time, that you can get lost in. Otherwise what's the point? [Emmert, p. 46. Print edition only.]

Bechdel wrote and illustrated "Fun Home" over the course of seven years. Her laborious artistic process made the task of illustration slow. She began each page by creating a framework in Adobe Illustrator, on which she placed the text and drew rough figures. She used extensive photo reference and, for many panels, posed for each human figure herself, using a digital camera to record her poses. Bechdel also used photo reference for background elements. For example, to illustrate a panel depicting fireworks seen from a Greenwich Village rooftop on July 4, 1976, she used Google Images to find a photograph of the New York skyline taken from that particular building in that period.cite web |url=http://www.afterellen.com/archive/ellen/Print/2006/5/bechdel.html |title=Alison Bechdel's Life in the Fun Home |accessdate=2007-08-07 |last=Swartz |first=Shauna |date=2006-05-08 |work=AfterEllen.com] cite web |url=http://thetyee.ca/Books/2006/08/23/FunHome/ |title=A Dyke to Watch Out For |accessdate=2007-08-07 |last=Brooks |first=Carellin |date=2006-08-23 |work=The Tyee] She also painstakingly copied by hand many family photographs, letters, local maps and excerpts from her own childhood journal, incorporating these images into her narrative. After using the reference material to draw a tight framework for the page, Bechdel copied the line art illustration onto plate finish Bristol board for the final inked page, which she then scanned into her computer. The gray-green ink wash for each page was drawn on a separate page of watercolor paper, and combined with the inked image using Photoshop. Bechdel chose the greenish wash color for its flexibility, and because it had "a bleak, elegiac quality" which suited the subject matter. [Emmert, pp. 47–48. Print edition only.] Bechdel attributes this detailed creative process to her "barely controlled obsessive-compulsive disorder". [Emmert, p. 45. Print edition only.]

Publication and reception

"Fun Home" was first printed in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin (Boston, New York) on June 8, 2006. [cite web |url=http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/catalog/titledetail.cfm?titleNumber=689441|title=Fun Home; ISBN-10: 0618477942 |accessdate=2007-08-14 |work=Houghton Mifflin website ] This edition appeared on the "New York Times"' Hardcover Nonfiction bestseller list for two weeks, covering the period from June 18–July 1, 2006. It continued to sell well, and by February 2007 there were 55,000 copies in print. [cite web |url=http://publishersweekly.com/article/CA6413947.html |title=Comics Bestsellers: February 2007 |date =2007-02-06 |accessdate=2007-08-14 |work=Publishers Weekly ] A trade paperback edition was published in the United Kingdom by Random House under the Jonathan Cape imprint on September 14, 2006; Houghton Mifflin published a paperback edition under the Mariner Books imprint on June 5, 2007. [cite web |url=http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/catalog/book.htm?command=Search&db=main.txt&eqisbndata=0224080512 |title=Book Details for Fun Home |accessdate=2007-08-14 |work=Random House UK website ] [cite web |url=http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/catalog/titledetail.cfm?textType=reviews&titleNumber=694163|title=Fun Home; ISBN-10: 0618871713 |accessdate=2007-08-14 |work=Houghton Mifflin website ]

In the summer of 2006, a French translation of "Fun Home" was serialized in the Paris newspaper "Libération" (which had previously serialized "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi). This translation, by Corinne Julve and Lili Sztajn, was subsequently published by Éditions Denoël on October 26, 2006. [cite web |url=http://www.denoel.fr/Denoel/Control.go?action=rech&prod_code=B25894 |title=Fun Home |accessdate=2007-08-08 |work=Éditions Denoël website |language=French] In January 2007, "Fun Home" was an official selection of the Angoulême International Comics Festival. In the same month, the Anglophone Studies department of the Université François Rabelais, Tours sponsored an academic conference on Bechdel's work, with presentations in Paris and Tours. At this conference, papers were presented examining "Fun Home" from several perspectives: as containing "trajectories" filled with paradoxical tension; as a text interacting with images as a paratext; and as a search for meaning using drag as a metaphor. [Citation
last=Chabani
first=Karim
publication-date=January 2007
date=March 2007
title=Double Trajectories: Crossing Lines in "Fun Home"
periodical=GRAAT
publication-place=Tours
publisher=Université François Rabelais
volume=on-line edition
issue=1
url=http://www.graat.fr/bechdel001aaaa.pdf
accessdate=2007-08-08
.
] [Citation
last=Muller
first=Agnés
publication-date=January 2007
date=March 2007
title=Image as Paratext in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home
periodical=GRAAT
publication-place=Tours
publisher=Université François Rabelais
volume=on-line edition
issue=1
url=http://www.graat.fr/bechdel002aaaa.pdf
accessdate=2007-08-08
.
] [Citation
last=Tison
first=Hélène
publication-date=January 2007
date=March 2007
title=Drag as metaphor and the quest for meaning in Alison Bechdel’s "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic"
periodical=GRAAT
publication-place=Tours
publisher=Université François Rabelais
volume=on-line edition
issue=1
url=http://www.graat.fr/bechdel003aaaa.pdf
accessdate=2007-08-08
.
] These papers and others on Bechdel and her work were later published in the peer-reviewed journal "GRAAT" ("Groupe de Recherches Anglo-Américaines de Tours", or Tours Anglo-American Research Group). [Citation
editor-last=Tison
editor-first=Hélène
publication-date=March 2007
title=Reading Alison Bechdel
periodical=GRAAT
publication-place=Tours
publisher=Université François Rabelais
volume=on-line edition
issue=1
url=http://www.graat.fr/backissuegraat01.htm
accessdate=2007-08-08
.
] [cite web |url=http://www.univ-tours.fr/graat/ |title=Groupe de Recherches Anglo-Américaines de Tours |accessdate=2007-08-21 |language=French |work=Université François Rabelais, Tours ]

A German translation was published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch in January 2008. [cite web |url=http://www.kiwi-verlag.de/36-0-buch.htm?isbn=9783462039221 |title=Fun Home |accessdate=2008-04-16 |year=2008 |month=January |publisher=Kiepenheuer & Witsch |language=German] The book has also been translated into Hungarian and Korean, and Chinese and Polish translations have been scheduled for publication. [cite web |url=http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/china-translated |title=china, translated |accessdate=2008-08-14 |last=Bechdel |first=Alison |date=2008-08-14 |work=dykestowatchoutfor.com] [cite web |url=http://www.abiekt.pl/ksiazki/funhome |title=Fun Home. Tragikomiks rodzinny |accessdate=2008-10-09 |last=Abiekt.pl |date=2008-10-09 |work=abiekt.pl|language=Polish]

In October 2006, a resident of Marshall, Missouri attempted to have "Fun Home" and Craig Thompson's "Blankets", both graphic novels, removed from the city's public library.cite news
first = Zach
last = Sims
title = Library trustees to hold hearing on novels
url = http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1171005.html
work = The Marshall Democrat-News
date = 2006-10-03
accessdate = 2006-10-08
] Supporters of the books' removal characterized them as "pornography" and expressed concern that they would be read by children.cite news
first = Zach
last = Sims
title = Library board hears complaints about books/Decision scheduled for Oct. 11 meeting
url = http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1171432.html
work = The Marshall Democrat-News
date = 2006-10-05
accessdate = 2006-10-08
] Marshall Public Library Director Amy Crump defended the books as having been well-reviewed in "reputable, professional book review journals," and characterized the removal attempt as a step towards "the slippery slope of censorship". On October 11, 2006, the library's board appointed a committee to create a materials selection policy, and removed "Fun Home" and "Blankets" from circulation until the new policy was approved. [cite web
url = http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=87365
title = Marshall Libaray Board Votes to Adopt Materials Selection Policy
accessdate = 2006-10-12
last = Brady
first = Matt
date = 2006-10-12
work = Newsarama
] [cite news
first = Zach
last = Sims
title = Library board votes to remove 2 books while policy for acquisitions developed
url = http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1172698.html
work = The Marshall Democrat-News
date = 2006-10-12
accessdate = 2006-10-12
] The committee "decided not to assign a prejudicial label or segregate [the books] by a prejudicial system", and presented a materials selection policy to the board.cite news
first = Rachel
last = Harper
title = Library board ready to approve new materials selection policy
url = http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1186860.html
work = The Marshall Democrat-News
date = 2007-01-25
accessdate = 2007-01-26
] [cite news
first = Rachel
last = Harper
title = Library policy has first reading
url = http://www.marshallnews.com/story/1188755.html
work = The Marshall Democrat-News
date = 2007-02-08
accessdate = 2007-03-05
] On March 14, 2007, the Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees voted to return both "Fun Home" and "Blankets" to the library's shelves. Bechdel described the attempted banning as "a great honor", and described the incident as "part of the whole evolution of the graphic-novel form." [http://www.tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=598&Itemid=48 Emmert] , p. 39. Retrieved on 2007-08-06.]

In 2008, an instructor at the University of Utah placed "Fun Home" on the syllabus of a mid-level English course, "Critical Introduction to English Literary Forms".cite news |first=JoSelle |last=Vanderhooft |title=Anti-Porn Group Challenges Gay Graphic Novel |url=http://qsaltlake.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=489&Itemid=35 |work=QSaltLake |date=2008-04-07 |accessdate=2008-04-16 ] One student objected to the assignment, and was given an alternate reading in accordance with the university's religious accommodation policy. The student subsequently contacted a local organization called "No More Pornography", which started an online petition calling for the book to be removed from the syllabus.cite news |first=Sarah |last=Dallof |title=Students protesting book used in English class |url=http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=2952660 |publisher=KSL-TV |date=2008-03-27 |accessdate=2008-04-16 ] Vincent Pecora, the chair of the university's English department, defended "Fun Home" and the instructor. The university said that it had no plans to remove the book.

Reviews and awards

"Fun Home" was positively reviewed in many publications. "The Times" of London described "Fun Home" as "a profound and important book;" Salon.com called it "a beautiful, assured piece of work;" and "The New York Times" ran two separate reviews and a feature on the memoir. [cite news
first = Douglas
last = Wolk
url = http://www.salon.com/books/review/2006/06/05/bechdel/index.html
title = Fun Home
publisher = Salon.com
date = 2006-06-05
accessdate = 2006-08-12
] [cite news |first=Margaret |last=Reynolds |title=Images of the fragile self |url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/article639274.ece |work=The Times |date=2006-09-16 |accessdate=2007-08-07 ] [cite news
first = Ginia
last = Bellafante
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/garden/03bechdel.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=garden&adxnnlx=1154913282-+1SNH8sRkuz5azY4XDISuQ
format=paid archive
title = Twenty Years Later, the Walls Still Talk
publisher = The New York Times
date = 2006-08-03
accessdate = 2006-08-07
] In one "New York Times" review, Sean Wilsey called "Fun Home" "a pioneering work, pushing two genres (comics and memoir) in multiple new directions" and "a comic book for lovers of words". Jill Soloway, writing in the "Los Angeles Times", praised the work overall but commented that Bechdel's reference-heavy prose is at times "a little opaque".cite news |first=Jill |last=Soloway |authorlink=Jill Soloway |title=Skeletons in the closet |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/1047943011.html?dids=1047943011:1047943011&FMT=FT&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jun+4%2C+2006&author=Jill+Soloway&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&desc=SPECIAL+ISSUE+%7C+THE+OTHER+SIDE+OF+SUMMER |format=paid archive |work=Los Angeles Times |pages= |page=R. 12 |date=2006-06-04 |accessdate=2007-08-01] Similarly, a reviewer in "The Tyee" felt that "the narrator's insistence on linking her story to those of various Greek myths, American novels and classic plays" was "forced" and "heavy-handed". By contrast, the "Seattle Times"' reviewer wrote positively of the book's use of literary reference, calling it "staggeringly literate". [cite news |first=Richard |last=Pachter |title="Fun Home": Sketches of a family circus |url=http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=funhome18&date=20060616&query=%22Fun+Home%22+Alison+Bechdel |work=Seattle Times |date=2006-06-16 |accessdate=2007-08-09 ] "The Village Voice" said that "Fun Home" "shows how powerfully—and economically—the medium can portray autobiographical narrative. With two-part visual and verbal narration that isn't simply synchronous, comics presents a distinctive narrative idiom in which a wealth of information may be expressed in a highly condensed fashion."

Several publications listed "Fun Home" as one of the best books of 2006, including "The New York Times", Amazon.com, "The Times" of London, "New York" magazine and Publishers Weekly, which ranked it as the best comic book of 2006. [cite news |title=100 Notable Books of the Year |url=http://www.nytimes.com/ref/books/review/20061203notable-books.html?ref=books |work=Sunday Book Review |format=free registration required |publisher=The New York Times |date=2006-12-03 |accessdate=2006-12-12 ] [cite web |url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ref%5F=amb%5Flink%5F3914172%5F1&docId=1000024441&plpage=2 |title=Best Books of 2006: Editors' Top 50 |accessdate=2006-12-18 |work=amazon.com ] [cite web |url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/1000020751/ |title=Best of 2006 Top 10 Editors' Picks: Memoirs |accessdate=2006-12-18 |work=amazon.com ] [cite news |first=Tom |last=Gatti |title=The 10 best books of 2006: number 10 — Fun Home |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,923-2504697,00.html |work=The Times |date=2006-12-16 |accessdate=2006-12-18 ] [cite news
first = Christopher
last = Bonanos
coauthors =Logan Hill, Jim Holt "et al."
title = The Year in Books
url = http://nymag.com/arts/cultureawards/2006/25308/
work = New York
date = 2006-12-18 cover date
accessdate = 2006-12-12
] [cite news |title=The First Annual PW Comics Week Critic's Poll |url=http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6401289.html?nid=2789 |work=Publishers Weekly Online |publisher=Publishers Weekly |date=2006-12-19 |accessdate=2006-12-19 ] Salon.com named "Fun Home" the best nonfiction debut of 2006, admitting that they were fudging the definition of "debut" and saying, "Fun Home" shimmers with regret, compassion, annoyance, frustration, pity and love—usually all at the same time and never without a pervasive, deeply literary irony about the near-impossible task of staying true to yourself, and to the people who made you who you are." [cite news
first = Laura
last = Miller
coauthors = Hillary Frey
title = Best debuts of 2006
url = http://www.salon.com/books/awards/2006/12/12/debut/
work = salon.com
date = 2006-12-12
accessdate = 2006-12-12
] "Entertainment Weekly" called it the best nonfiction book of the year, and "Time" named "Fun Home" the best book of 2006, describing it as "the unlikeliest literary success of 2006" and "a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other." [Citation
last=Reese
first=Jennifer
publication-date= 2006-12-22
date= 2006-12-29
title=Literature of the Year
periodical=Entertainment Weekly
issue=913–914
url=http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20006513_3,00.html
doi=
oclc=
accessdate=2007-08-06
] cite news |first=Lev |last=Grossman |authorlink=Lev Grossman |coauthors=Richard Lacayo |title=10 Best Books |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1570801,00.html |work= Time |date=2006-12-17 |accessdate=2006-12-18 ]

"Fun Home" was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award, in the memoir/autobiography category, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book. [cite news |first=Josh |last=Getlin |title=Book Critics Circle nominees declared |url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/1198215671.html?dids=1198215671:1198215671&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jan+21%2C+2007&author=Josh+Getlin&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&edition=&startpage=A.17&desc=THE+NATION |work=Los Angeles Times |format=free abstract of paid archive |date=2007-01-21 |accessdate=2007-01-22 ] [cite web |url=http://www.bookcritics.org/?go=finalists |title=NBCC Awards Finalists |accessdate=2007-01-22 |work=National Book Critics Circle website ] [cite web |url=http://www.glaad.org/publications/resource_doc_detail.php?id=3953 |title=18th Annual GLAAD Media Award Nominees |accessdate=2007-01-27 |work=GLAAD Media Awards website ] In 2007, "Fun Home" won the Stonewall Book Award for non-fiction, the Publishing Triangle-Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award, and the Lambda Literary Award in the "Lesbian Memoir and Biography" category. [cite web |url=http://www.ala.org/ala/eventsandconferencesb/midwinter/2007/Cognotes-MonJan22.pdf |title=Holleran, Bechdel win 2007 Stonewall Book Awards |date=2007-01-22 |accessdate=2007-01-24 |format=PDF |work=Cognotes |publisher=American Library Association |pages=4 ] [cite web |url=http://www.thebookstandard.com/bookstandard/news/author/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003582214 |title=Alison Bechdel Among Triangle Award Winners |date=2007-05-08 |accessdate=2007-05-09 |publisher=The Book Standard |pages=1 ] [cite web |url=http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/current_winners.html |title=Lambda Literary Awards Announce Winners |accessdate=2007-06-05 |publisher=Lambda Literary Foundation ] "Fun Home" was nominated for the 2007 Eisner Awards in two categories, Best Reality-Based Work and Best Graphic Album, and Bechdel was nominated as Best Writer/Artist. [cite web |url=http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_07nom.shtml#nomlist |title=The 2007 Eisner Awards: 2007 Master Nominations List |accessdate=2007-07-31 |work=San Diego Comic-Con website ] "Fun Home" won the Eisner for Best Reality-Based Work. In 2008, "Entertainment Weekly" placed "Fun Home" at #68 in its list of "New Classics" (defined as "the 100 best books from 1983 to 2008"). [Citation
publication-date = 2008-06-17
date = 2008-06-27
title = The New Classics: Books
periodical = Entertainment Weekly
issue = 999–1000
pages =
url = http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20207076_20207079_20210735_7,00.html
accessdate = 2008-07-22
]

References

External links

* [http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/booksellers/press_release/bechdel/ Houghton Mifflin's "Fun Home" press release] , with excerpts from the book and video of Bechdel's artistic process
* [http://www.dykestowatchoutfor.com/index.php dykestowatchoutfor.com] , author Alison Bechdel's blog and official website


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fun Home — Fun Home : Une tragicomédie familiale One shot Auteur Alison Bechdel Dessin Alison Bechdel Genre(s) Bande dessinée Autobiographie Lieu de l’action …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fun Home — – eine Familie von Gezeichneten (engl.: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic) ist eine 2006 veröffentlichte, mit dem Eisner Award ausgezeichnete, autobiografische Graphic Novel der Autorin/Zeichnerin Alison Bechdel. Themen des Comics sind u.a.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fun — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Fun est un terme anglais qui signifie plaisir, amusement, divertissement Sommaire 1 Média 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fun and Fancy Free — Original theatrical release poster Directed by Jack Kinney (animation) Bill Roberts (animation) Hamilton Luske (animation) William Morgan …   Wikipedia

  • HOME MADE Kazoku — Datos generales Origen Nagoya, Aichi, Japón Estad …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fun (band) — fun. Lead singer Nate Ruess at Electric Ballroom, Camden, London. Background information Origin New York, New York, U.S …   Wikipedia

  • Home Taping Is Killing Music — was the slogan of a 1980s anti copyright infringement campaign by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a British music industry trade group. With the rise in cassette recorder popularity, the BPI feared that people being able to record music… …   Wikipedia

  • Fun Boy Three — est un groupe de pop britannique issu du ska et aux tendances new wave. Il est composé par trois anciens membres des Specials : Terry Hall, Lynval Golding et Neville Staple. Actif entre 1981 et 1983, Fun Boy Three fut un habitué des charts… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fun in Acapulco (album) — Fun in Acapulco Soundtrack album by Elvis Presley Released November 1, 1963 …   Wikipedia

  • Fun it — «Fun it» Canción de Queen Álbum Jazz (album) Publicación 1978 Grabación …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”