FUN HOME, by Alison Bechdel
(Houghton Mifflin, $19.95; release date June 8, 2006)

Posted by Anneli Rufus at 7:43 am, Tuesday, May 30, 2006

She only ever saw her parents kiss once, and that was just a “chaste peck on the cheek.” In this engaging cartoon-as-memoir, Lambda Award-winning comics artist Bechdel searches through layers of incident and artifact for the truth about her father, a style-conscious, aesthetically inclined funeral-home director (hence the book’s title) and English teacher who was also a closeted gay man having secret affiances with students. An author-bio on the back flap describes Bechdel as “a careful archivist of her own life.” This might turn off some potential readers, feeding as it does into today’s tiresome all-about-me movement. Yet the book’s dry wit, sardonic hyperperceptiveness and lithe line drawings pull you in.

Grade: B

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