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moving under skies

NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy:  you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com. 

Fun Home

Fun Home - Alison Bechdel

Probably my favourite graphic memoir that I've read. Usually I come away from a graphic novel memoir--or any memoir, really--feeling halfway skeptical and wanting either more or less, but there's nothing at all to complain about here. Bechdel is breathtakingly insightful and smart, but never in a way that seems overly analytical or cold. She has a brilliance for showing all sides of these people she's writing about (including herself), good and bad, without ever condemning anyone to either absolute. I love that no one is a villain--when I started out I really expected that this would be a book of clear villains from what I'd heard of it but it completely defied that expectation. Everyone is always praising memoirs for their honesty but this is one of the rare few that rings completely true--rarely does any writer, of fiction or nonfiction, novels or graphic novels, manage to make their human beings feel so true. I've heard it consigned a lot to queer summer reading lists but absolutely everyone should read it--it's part of the genius that it isn't just a memoir about growing up queer or about family secrets or any one thing. I fail totally at capturing the wonder of this book. But it is truly great.