Are You My Mother?, Hardback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Alison Bechdel's Fun Home was a literary phenomenon: 'an extraordinarily intimate account of family secrets that manages to be shocking, unsettling and life-affirming at the same time', as Sarah Walters wrote in the Guardian.

The Times said it was 'incontestibly the graphic book of the year', while the Observer recently chose it as one of the ten best graphic novels ever published.

While Fun Home explored Bechdel's relationship with her father, a closeted homsexual, this new memoir is about her mother - a voracious reader, a music lover, a passionate amateur actor.

Also a woman, unhappily married to a gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood...and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter goodnight, for ever, 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 psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott to one explosively illuminating Dr Seuss illustration, to Bechdel's own (serially monogamous) 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.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304 pages, chiefly Illustrations
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Comics and Graphic Novels
  • ISBN: 9780224093521



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Having resisted graphic novels till now, I was blown away by Bechdel's book and was very sorry to see it end. I never realized the power of this format in presenting many themes at once - and I don't agree with her mother at all that there were "too many threads." I loved every bit of it: the writing, the exploration of psychologists' theories, her therapy sessions, the conversations with her mother, and most especially the drawings. Can't imagine how she is able to do all of this.Now I can't wait to read her previous book, about her father.

Review by

I have a sneaking suspicion that the 3 stars says something about my mother/daughter relationship with my mother rather than this. It's sa look at Alison and her mother and the ups and downs of their relatioships with each other, including the writing of the previous book, Fun Home. It also includes some of her therapy sessions and relationships. It would probably appeal to people who enjoy reading about navel-gazing, I don't happen to be one.