Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Author(s): Alison Bechdel
Artist(s): Alison Bechdel
Languages: English, French, Spanish,Italian, Hungarian, Korean, German, Greek, Turkish, Chinese
Grade Level(s): 10-12
Mature Content?: Nudity, some sex
Fun Home is a memoir, in which Alison Bechdel tells the story of her relationship with her father and, to some extent, her family as well. She introduces the setting with their creepy, Gothic-revival house, tells the story of his death (possibly suicide?), and how she responded to his death in surprising ways. Moreover, his death caused her to re-evaluate her father and their relationship, as she thought back to her last interactions with him and how cold, distant and sometimes toxic their relationship was. Her perspective jumps back and forth between young adulthood and various stages of her childhood, from very young to Bechdel’s teenage years.
This emotional, compelling graphic novel would be fantastic in an English classroom, and could even perhaps be used in a social studies classroom as well. While it might be challenging in a social studies class, it could easily fit in sociology or psychology, or even a study of 1970s and 80s cultural movements like the LGBTQ movement. Both psychology and sociology could look at some issues an English class might take on, like family dynamics and LGBTQ issues. In an English setting, a teacher could also use this text for autobiography and biography, as well as to focus in on point of view and subjective vs. objective sources and content.