|Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home|
It seems that most memoirs these days are just written because the “writers“ are being paid to tell their story. (I enlarged the quotation marks to make a point.) Don’t get me started on all the celebrities and the non-celebrities flooding the market. It annoys me and makes me angry. I am all for free speech but c’mon.
So I have been on the hunt of the anti-popculture memoir. It seems fitting that the alternative comes in an alternative form. This graphic memoir is one that has been on my “must read” list but kept getting buried year after year. I finally dug it out and read it during my breaks at work.
What I loved about Fun Home was that she wasn’t telling a story just for the sake of telling it but she took an introspective look at her family, more specifically her relationship with her father. It’s shocking to think that we know so little about our parents. And while this generation feels the need to tweet about every thing we eat, see, think, feel, our parents kept their lives private. Guarded might even be a better word. But it is what her father tries to hide from that seems to be the cause of so many of his problems.
Everyone is a product of their family’s dysfunction but it’s not something to be celebrated or exploited. To profit from scandal is disgusting. But Alison tells her story without malice and her intent is self-exploration. It didn’t feel to me that she was dishonoring her father. In fact, it felt like a tribute.