Fun home : a family tragicomic
One of the most eagerly anticipated graphic memoirs of recent years, "Fun Home" is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings.
Like Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis", it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.
Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high-school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and the family babysitter.
Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned 'fun home', as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.
When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.