Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fun Home

I just read Alison Bechdel's Fun Home.  There has been much good press about it, and I must say it has been earned.

As I got started, and saw that it was about a dad who didn't fit in and kind of maybe killed himself, I almost turned away, just as I had decided to defer reading Daniel Wallace's Big Fish when I saw how much that book was about the death of his, or his narrator's, father. Still kinda close to home.

But I kept reading.  At times, it felt like she was overworking the parallels to Proust, to Joyce, to literary history generally, in the story of her, her father, and the homosexuality that they shared, which she grew into, but he never quite did.  Not surprisingly, since he lived in a small town with wife and kids.  Hard situation in which to be gay.

And so much of the the book focused on his unreachability, his self-imposed withdrawal from others, that it was hard to perceive the deep undercurrents of the author's love for him, and her sense of his for her.  But, at the end, such as it is, it all comes together.  A good book.

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