I am a big fan of graphic novels and “Fun Home” did not disappoint. Alison Bechdel tells the story of her complicated relationship with her late father, of coming to terms with her own sexual identity and also her struggles with OCD.
What I really liked about it was that she used novels that she read when she was younger to tell things about her own past. The presence of Proust, Joyce, Colette and Fitzgerald become literary counterparts to discuss struggles with your values and identity. The novels and their author’s function as touchstones on the journey back into the past of her family. Another interesting way of storytelling was that the question about her own lesbian identity is mirrored by the experiences of her closeted homosexual father.
Through the use of memories, photographs, letters, interior décor and literary sources Bechdel creates a very distinct and creative story of her family’s life. Growing up in a Victorian funeral home (a.k.a. the “fun” home) in a small town in Pennsylvania, Bechdel just like her father has to embark on a journey that questions the heteronormative world she lives in. But how close is her open lesbianism compared to the closeted experience of her father? She tries to find connections between them and through this connection she tries to examine one of the most important questions: Why am I who I am?