Time for another graphic novel in the book club, or as author Alison Bechdel calls it, “a family tragicomic.” “Fun Home” is an autobiographical graphic novel; Bechdel tells about her growing up, and her family’s history. She deals with her parents’ marriage and the difficult dynamics in it. She deals with her own sexuality, and her coming to terms with it. The book is really well-written, nicely illustrated, and easily kept my interest.
The graphic novel has received some flack for dealing with homosexuality, becoming the target of some attempts at censorship by small-minded individuals (I’m looking at Garry Smith of South Carolina here). I am very confident that most of these individuals have never actually read the book. Yes, it deals with homosexuality. And really, that almost seems secondary. The book is intelligently written, and that is reason alone to read it. A larger theme, to me, is about how we grow up, see our parents differently, see the world differently, and try to find our own place in it.
This book should sit on the shelf beside any other important autobiographical works. And those who would try to remove this book from reading lists, syllabuses, libraries should read the dang book.