Reading questions: Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

  1. How does the novel use other literary,mythic, and cultural references to ‘make meaning’?
  2. What about the ‘tragicomic’ in the subtitle? Where can we find specific examples of the tragicomic mode in the novel?
  3. What do we learn about Alison herself?
  4. What do we learn about her dad and her relationship with him?
  5. Find a few examples where the text and the accompanying images are really different but a) somehow importantly complement, or b) contradict the words. What is the effect of this parallelism on the reader, and why is it in important technique in this novel?  In other words, what does it contribute to, or how does it help shape, our experience of the story?
  6. Comparisons to other texts we’ve read in the course? Shared themes or sentiments? Also, what’s new for you in this type of text–what does this particular novel contribute to our conversation about queer literary studies this quarter?
  7. What do you personally think about the comic book/graphic novel for at for a queer autobiography? Does it work for you as a reader? Why or why not?
  8. What do the maps, letters, diary entries (fictional or not) contribute to the story–what do they express, and how do they work both similarly and in addition to the literary, mythic, and cultural references in the novel?
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Filed under Reading questions, Week 9: Cherrie Moraga and Alison Bechdel

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