Alison Bechdel’s father was 44 when he was hit by a truck, which he may or may not have stepped in front of. Fun Home is the story of what led up that moment: the author’s childhood in small-town Pennsylvania and her gradual realization that she is gay, and that her father probably is too. The narrative isn’t linear, it’s more like a looped tape — she goes back and back over her own story, adding new details, mustering maps and photos and journal entries and allusions to Wilde and Proust and Fitzgerald and Joyce, each time deepening our understanding of it, and at the same time adding more layers of ambiguity. She never shies away from complexity, never forces a theory that doesn’t fit. And all this is conveyed by line drawings that are simplicity itself.
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