Saturday, June 16 at 6 pm, Amy E. Tarrant Gallery
Six years ago, Fun Home, a memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her father, was an international and pop culture phenomenon. It was Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, and it hit almost every other “best book of the year” list as well. Fun Home came on top of Bechdel’s already deep cult status as creator of the Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip.
Now, Are You My Mother? is the sequel we’ve all been waiting for, another brilliantly told tale of filial sleuthery, this time about Bechdel becoming the artist her mother herself wanted to be. A voracious reader, music lover, and passionate amateur actor, Bechdel’s mother is a woman who was unhappily married to a closeted gay man, and whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood. She’s also a woman who stopped touching or kissing her daughter goodnight forever when she was seven years old.Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning this mother-daughter gulf. From babyhood photos and saved letters from her parents’ obviously fraught courtship, Bechdel’s richly layered search also leads readers through the fascinating life and work of iconic 20th-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, astonish, and resonate with all adult children of gifted mothers.
Bechdel will read from the book and discuss passages with the audience; books will be sold on-site by Flying Pig Bookstore.