Our book for November is Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alison_Bechdel). Fun Home is an autobiographical "tragicomic" (i.e. graphic novel) chronicling Bechdel's childhood and the years before and after her father's death. Fun Home spent 2 weeks on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction bestseller list in 2006. It was hailed as one of the best books of the year by numerous sources, including The New York Times, The Times of London, Publishers Weekly, Salon.com, New York magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Lev Grossman and Richard LeCayo of Time magazine described Fun Home as "a stunning memoir about a girl growing up in a small town with her cryptic, perfectionist dad and slowly realizing that a) she is gay and b) he is too. ... Bechdel's breathtakingly smart commentary duets with eloquent line drawings. Forget genre and sexual orientation: this is a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other."
The book addresses themes of sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide, dysfunctional family life, and the role of literature in understanding oneself and one's family. Writing and illustrating Fun Home took seven years, in part because of Bechdel's laborious artistic process, which includes photographing herself in poses for each human figure.