Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama

Hardback

By (author) Alison Bechdel

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  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Trade)
  • Format: Hardback | 286 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 231mm x 28mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Boston
  • ISBN 10: 0618982507
  • ISBN 13: 9780618982509
  • Illustrations note: black & white line drawings, colour line drawings
  • Sales rank: 33,385

Product description

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.

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Review quote

"In "Are You My Mother?", Alison Bechdel poses an infinity of thought-provoking questions about women, literature, feminism, family bonds, psychology and the complicated relationship between therapist and patient...The book is a page turner, thanks in part to Bechdel's lovely and subtle illustrations. Bechdel's examination of her relationship with her mother also touches on the universal push and pull between mothers and children...The book's transcendent ending is Bechdel's expression of love for her own 'good enough mother.'"--"USA Today""Sad, funny, sprawling graphic memoir...An intensely personal, specific story, but Bechdel's imaginative narrative techniques make it easily as compelling as any fiction...Its stylistic flexibility accomodates more layers than any straight documentary or prose memoir could support...This work is her link in the long chain connecting her foremothers and their daughters and all of the other women who shaped her."--"The Atlantic""A staggering achievement...Although Bechdel utilizes all the features of the graphic-novel form, she is so intelligent and perceptive that this story of self-discovery (an abused term, but never more apt) would still be compelling if told only in prose...Are You My Mother? is a masterwork that gracefully documents the torture that sensitive people can put themselves through while searching for the casual movers of their lives."--"The Daily Beast"""Are You My Mother?" is a tremendously intimate work, more so even than "Fun Home". Taken together, the two books are a practical guide to the complicated, unspoken negotiations that take place between children and their parents, those sphinxlike beings who give us life and then promptly deal us near fatal psychic wounds.Watching Bechdel dig into the underworld of her subconscious is paradoxically uplifting. The courage and rigor with which she examines her life make readers feel as if their own secrets might not be quite so unspeakable."--Lev Grossman,

Back cover copy

"Many of us are living out the unlived lives of our mothers. Alison Bechdel has written a graphic novel about this, sort of like a comic book by Virginia Woolf. You won't believe it until you read it--and you must!"--Gloria Steinem "This book is not so much the sequel to Alison Bechdel's captivating memoir "Fun Home" as the maternal yin to its paternal yang. Bravely worrying out the snarled web of missed connections that bedevil her relationship with her remarkable mother from the very start, Bechdel deploys everyone from Virginia Woolf to D. W. Winnicott (the legendary psychoanalytic theorist who comes to serve as her quest's benign fairy godfather) to untie the snares of a fraught past. She arrives, at long last, at something almost as shimmering as it is simple: a grace-flecked accommodation and an affirming love."--Lawrence Weschler, author of "Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences" and "Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative"

Flap copy

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.