Tag Archive: Alison Bechdel



Are You My Mother?
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is on my wishlist to own! Thank you, Washoe County Library System for carrying this book!

It is not an easy book to get through. But if you manage, you find so many diamonds of wisdom to apply to your own life.

Which of us has gotten through childhood unscathed? Which of us, as parents, release healthy, unscathed adults into the world? In Alison Bechdel’s first memoir, Fun Home, Alison addressed her life with her father. In this book, Alison tells of her life with her mother. I was amazed at how well she was able to keep the story on her own interpretation of her own life. She brings in her therapists and friends and lovers in how they help her understand why certain things happened and how she can get over it and become whole.

Though this is done in comic book form it is far from funny. Yet, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, she was able to speak volumes using this method of story telling. It brought my own mother issues to mind while reading this.

A spot of vomit on the floor. Running lines with mom for the next play she’ll be in. The inability to cry properly. Maybe these things wouldn’t cause you cathartic experience, but as you follow Alison’s path, which is also her mother’s path, it is easy to relate to both women. As Alison calls into play the works of Virginia Wolfe and Freude among others to help her understand how it all fits and how we all fit into our mother’s worlds.

This book may have triggers for some people but I think that most people will find if they stick it out there are more answers than questions through Ms. Bechdel’s story. I recommend it highly to everyone.

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Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life Forms to Watch Out For
Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life Forms to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fast read for me. Having read the Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, I found many of the strips repeated here. Or is it the other way around? I think this was written first. actually. But it was nice that there were some unique strips in this book. I especially liked the longer last on in the book giving us a deeper understanding of the characters and what they were going through.

Now that I have read this one I feel I want to read all the Dykes to Watch Out For as I can see there are a lot of them. This will give me some light reading and will be equally fast, like this one.

As I said in my review for Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, I think everyone should read these, regardless of your sexual, national, political leanings. It is an introduction into what others think and how they operate their lives. Love is love and life is complicated. Join these friends as they try to make it through both.

Thank you Washoe County Libraries for carrying these books. If I ever get a few pennies ahead I think I would like to aim for owning the complete collection of Alison Bechdel’s work.

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The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Star light, star bright… I wish to own this book! Meanwhile, I am grateful for my library carrying it and other Alison Bechdel works. Talk about a lesson in feminism and history! No details were spared in the telling of the different stories or in the drawings.

Not long ago I read Ms. Bechdel’s autobiography, Fun Home, and was blown away by the comic style to tell a serious story. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For seems to be the L Word from before it became a series. But not. The characters are all different. The only way it is the same is that it is similar to watching a soap opera of lives going through, well, life and all that it throws at them. Each frame holds a story of its own. That was why it took me so long to read a comic book. That and this is a large book. Each frame held clues top the news of the moment, or books or music of the time. With this backdrop, the cast of characters live out their lives with all the problems and decisions one needs to make. Love, romance, school, children, break-ups, death… everything is included.

Ms. Alison Bechdel is the essential feminist. If you want to know what that movement is all about look into her books. No one loves and cares for women like a lesbian. And that love and care is visible in these books. A sign of our times to see how repressed women really are? The Bechdel Test: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test will get you thinking about this archaic patriarchal world we live in through movies.

I have been on a mission for a while to find books under a similar test. I want to read books by women authors with strong women main characters. Recently there are a lot of them but suddenly I got tired of Young Adult books. Now I am on a mission to have exciting books by women with older main characters (preferably baby boomers NOW). AND I would like the genre to be Sci-fi or fantasy. Hey, but if they aren’t in that genre, or that age group, how about someone that isn’t 17 or the pretty and skinny girls. How about letting the world know that anyone can have an adventure and it can be an interesting read to all kinds of people. Is that too much to ask?

Back to this review, sorry, stepping off my soap box. The women in TEDTWOF don’t always talk about their love interests. The talk about politics, the environment, education, the poor, the wars, and, yes, love. You don’t have to be a lesbian to read and appreciate Ms. Bechdel’s work. In fact, I think if men and other straight women read these books, they would come out of the experience with an appreciation for all people.

Now I am off to read another Bechdel book: Are You My Mother?

Thank you Washoe County Library System for having these books available to everyone!

View all my reviews

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