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Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison…
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Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama (2012)

by Alison Bechdel

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1,125717,293 (3.69)89
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As opposed to Fun Home, which is a pretty straightforward memoir about her relationship with her father, this wanders a lot, with probably as much time spent talking about her time in therapy and her readings of various famous psychologists, as well as her wondering how to write this book that she's writing, as there is stuff about her interactions with her mother. But it works really well and I enjoyed it a lot. ( )
  kyuuketsukirui | Jul 27, 2017 |
I have always been a fan of Alison Bechdel, reading Fun Home multiple times, learning something new each time about the interpersonal conflicts between Bechdel and her father. Are You My Mother was visually beautiful, but it seemed to lack character complexity of Fun Home. Perhaps the story line just didn't grab me as well as Fun Home's, with the themes of secrets and isolation. ( )
  GabbyF | Jul 2, 2017 |
I really liked this book, though I didn't give it five stars because I think I need to go back and reread parts of it--it, much like Fun Home, is super dense in places, and this perhaps more so because it's in part about psychiatry and psychotherapy as a practice and parental/child complexes. Bechdel's art is so easy and nice to look at--I mean easy in an aesthetic sense, like she works so hard to make the world so familiar and it pays off tremendously. I also really felt like I was able to follow this book better than I followed Fun Home, despite the content difficulty. At one point, Bechdel writes that her mother calls the manuscript for this book a "meta-book" and that's very much what it is--and in some points, that can be frustrating. I can't imagine the patience of Bechdel's therapists that she falls in love with--I know to some degree the inability to dig deep or to hit a wall in therapy, but the frustration of Bechdel's seeming inability to put the analytical part of her brain aside and allow herself to click with the emotional does shape this book in a lot of ways.

But overall, the catharsis of this book is really beautiful--the points at which Bechdel can forgive herself for her mother's inability to give her everything she needs are really beautiful and touching, and that alone really makes this book worth reading. ( )
  aijmiller | May 24, 2017 |
I loved Alison Bechdel's first book so much I have read it more times than I can count. I loved everything about it. This book may be rated badly by me because I was expecting to love it like I loved Fun Home. However, though there were parts of this book that I enjoyed, it was so completely different in its attempts that I was often lost. I will continue to give Bechdel the benefit of the doubt, and I will re-read this book to see if my opinion changes. It may just be that I could not connect on a personal level. ( )
  ceciliachard | Oct 17, 2016 |
The artwork is great, but the story leaves much to be desired. The plot, such as it is, spends too much time in therapy sessions and inside Bechdel's own head, making it far less compelling -- and far more meta -- than her previous memoir, "Fun Home". And while the literary references are fun (including a new take on one of Dr. Seuss's stories), I found the psychoanalytical references dense and confusing. I still give this three stars because of the uniqueness of Bechdel's perspective and the exquisite drawings, but this cathartic book was certainly more satisfying for her than it was for me. ( )
  bostonian71 | Sep 26, 2016 |
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Epigraph
"For nothing was simply one thing." ~ Virginia Woolf
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For my mother, who knows who she is.
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While engaged in some sort of home-improvement project, I inadvertently block my exit from a dank cellar.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618982507, Hardcover)

From the best-selling author of Fun Home, Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It's a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:12 -0400)

Alison Bechdels Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It's a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdels own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Motherto a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.… (more)

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