Fun Home, Alison Bechdel, 2006
A National Book Critics Circle finalist and named to the New York Times Best 10 of the Year, this graphic memoir is the very powerful story of a young girl’s awakening gayness while her father is sinking into a manic-depressive awareness of his own gay history. Fun Home is the short phrase Bechdel’s family used to refer to the family mortuary business—funeral home. The graphics are exceptionally well done and the story is terribly funny and tragic at the same time. Her father’s obsessive focus on interior design, his rages and withdrawal when faced with his gay adulterous liasons, his identification with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his likely suicide within 3 days of the exact length of Fitzgerald’s life are told with empathy and heartbreak. I read the sequel, the memoir concerning her mother, first and intend to go back to it again. I read this book all at one sitting and then wept without restraint when it was over. A father/daughter book above all else!