So, I’m getting ready to move and as I was going through my books in a pre-moving book purge, I started leafing through Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, Fun Home. There’s a lot to love about Fun Home. It’s funny, sad, personal, political. Bechdel artfully recreates her own coming out narrative, juxtaposing it with the story of her father’s life and death.
Aside from Bechdel’s impossibly detailed and beautifully inked drawings, my favorite thing about Fun Home was the way that Bechdel used texts to enhance/mediate the identities of the “characters” in her memoir. References to books, poems, plays, and anthologies litter Fun Home, adding an extra dimension to the narrative.
On one of my many re-reads, I decided to keep track of the books that Bechdel incorporates into her text. I’ve seen a handful of people blogging panels from Fun Home (along with panels from Bechdel’s long running Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip), so I thought I’d share the list here in case anyone else was interested.
I did my best to make this comprehensive, but will be upfront and admit that I omitted magazines (characters can be seen reading Vogue, GQ, The New Yorker, and others), newspapers, and comic books — basically any periodical. I also omitted Roget’s Thesaurus and the numerous (unnamed) dictionaries that Bechdel illustrates. Some books are only partially illustrated (an author’s last name, a fragment of a title) — if I could hazard a good guess, I included it here. If not, forget about it!
The list is a mix of “Classic” literature, children’s books, lesbian pulp novels, nonfiction, etc. It might actually make a pretty decent summer reading list. The complete list numbers at over 75 books and is under the cut.
I am dying to do this as a summer reading list, like I don’t have fifteen other potential reading lists I’ve vowed to make my way through!