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

by Alison Bechdel

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7564712,276 (3.74)67
Member:mejix
Title:Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama
Authors:Alison Bechdel
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
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Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book very much. Bechdel brings in the work of psychotherapist and writer Donald Winnicott as a foundation to her understanding of her and her mother's relationship, as it is through their lifelong process of separation that Bechdel expresses seeing herself and her mother both become complete individuals, each a subject in her own right. The positive conversation at the conclusion of the book between the two (they are talking about the very book the reader has nearly completed) is warm and encouraging. ( )
  NatalieSW | Dec 15, 2014 |


I found this quite disappointing. Lots of verbatim quotes from psychoanalytic theory and transcribed conversations with her mother and not much plain storytelling. I fid love the glimpses into her life that I recognized from where she had previously used them in Dykes to Watch Out For. All in all, though, I think she's too blocked to write a good story about her mother yet. Maybe she can't do it while her mother is still alive. And I didn't find the metastory about being blocked sufficiently engaging. ( )
  AmphipodGirl | Oct 14, 2014 |
Probably not fair to compare them, but I can't help it. I didn't like this one as much as Fun Home. It was a lot more wordy and cerebral, and I admit that I just didn't understand a lot of the psychological terminology she used to tell the story. Also I read To The Lighthouse a few years ago and for me it was eh, so I didn't have that connection. I mean, I got the main point - and it was very poignant for me - that her mother just didn't have love to give and Alison figured out early that the best thing she could do was to not need anything. That's pretty much my relationship with my mother, so it meant a lot to me, but in some ways it was a simpler and less interesting story. ( )
  piemouth | Jun 15, 2014 |
Bechdel's "Fun House" was a game changer for me in terms of weighty graphic novels. "Are You My Mother?" follows up with Bechdel and her relationship with her mother instead of her father. However, the threads feel bigger and more numerous. There's not a lot of follow-through and it's hard to keep track of time and place. Bechdel's voice is charming enough (and the situation sufficiently relatable) that it's a pleasant read - albeit a problematic one. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
Are You My Mother? is not, if you ask me, about Bechdel's mother. It is mostly about Bechdel, her creative demons, her childhood, her relationships with lovers and, yes, therapists. Bechdel writes well and the whole book is drawn beautifully with a lot of attention to detail. Panels flow well and they tell a story in physical space as well as in several moments in time. She often has a narration going on as she is having a conversation with someone while, say, she is driving somewhere. The work is meticulous and polished. Her mom calls the book a meta-book, which is very apt. Most of the book concerns itself with psychoanalysis and psychology. Freud, Jung, Winnicott, and Virginia Woolf dominate the text. Beyond that there is a personal life that is very much like most personal lives: love, hate, deceit, anxiety, regret, brilliance, career woes, insecurities, money problems, gender issues... There are some very funny moments, but the overall feel of the book is anxious and slightly claustrophobic. Bechdel does a very good job in telling the story and using her art to break down, almost crystallize, certain feelings and moments.

All in all, Are You My Mother? is an intellectual delight to read with some great art. It is also an act of bravery and self-indulgence. I do not recommend it to people who cannot multitask, who have short attention span, or who do not like to read about lofty complex psychological concepts. Highly recommended for intellectuals, moms, dads, and artists ("the humanities people," as I like to call them!) ( )
  bluepigeon | Dec 15, 2013 |
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Epigraph
"For nothing was simply one thing." ~ Virginia Woolf
Dedication
For my mother, who knows who she is.
First words
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:54 -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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