Sunday, 27 November 2011

Purpose of Story

In my previous long post, I've thoroughly stressed on what Alison Bechdel decided to write for each chapter of her book. Why did she want to tell her story? Well, it's because she felt it was very important and it took her 7 years to complete it. Through several drafts and editing just to come up with her final work. "What she did in Fun Home still amazes her in some ways. "It's a strange, exhibitionistic streak in a person who ... I consider myself pretty shy and retiring. I don't know why I'm compelled to reveal these things in public" (guardian).
 “It was a relief to go back to the comics and get my head out of my own ass, because there's only so long you can obsess about your own childhood,” the author says of completing the book. At first she spent half of each month working on her comic strip and half on her book. But the book gradually started taking over her life until she finished it. Bechdel didn't tell her mother and brothers about her book until a year into working on it because she didn't want to be inhibited by how they might respond to her “family tragicomic.” But she made sure to show it to them at various stages and even promised to make changes at their request. “But whenever they asked me to remove something I'd argue with them about why it was important to have it in there,” she says, laughing. “Ultimately I prevailed.” (Afterellen)
To make this story happen, she manages to persuade her family to keep vital information. Showing all sides of the ugly truth. However, she "hoped that Fun Home, her very personal graphic memoir, would heal her family's wounds. Instead it led to terrible upset"(guardian). As you all may know already, Fun Home centers on her relationship with her father. She seeks to understand him and begins to understand the similar connections between him and herself. Bechdel just wants the readers to bear witness to what her father went through that shaped his life who then shaped hers.

Here's a link to a very interesting Conversation with Alison Bechdel.

" - Alison Bechdel's Life In the Fun Home." News, Videos & Reviews on Lesbian & Bisexual Women | After Ellen | Lesbian Celebrities in Entertainment, TV & Movies. Web. 27 Nov. 2011. <>.

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.
Brockes, Emma. "Emma Brockes: Alison Bechdel Talks about Her New Book Fun Home | Books | The Guardian." Latest News, Sport and Comment from the Guardian | The Guardian. Web. 27 Nov. 2011. <>./01/alison-bechdel-fun-home

Heather Agoncillo


  1. Heather,

    Alison probably wanted not only for other people to bear witness to what shaped her but also to learn, herself, why she is the way she is. Everything is easier to understand when you're removed from the situation by time and when you have 7 full years to think about it in detail and work it out on paper.

    As with most authors, Alison didn't expect her book to be as popular as it was. Nor did her family. That caused some trouble for them once her mother's friends started reading it and her brother's friends and people all around the world. Especially when they weren't all that happy about the gritty details of their home-life being spread around to even a small circle of readers in the first place. There are over a quarter-million copies of this book in print and it's been translated into many languages.

    Too bad she could only bond with her dad about their homosexuality on this world for a couple months before he supposedly killed himself.

    Here's an interesting interview in text