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May 2, 2012

Alison Bechdel

Harvard Book Store welcomea acclaimed memoirist and cartoonist Alison Bechdel for a discussion of her new memoir, Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama.


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.

"Are You My Mother is a work of the most humane kind of genius, bravely going right to the heart of things: why we are who we are. It's also incredibly funny. And visually stunning. And page-turningly addictive. And heartbreaking."—Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated 

"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

About Author(s)

Alison Bechdel began keeping a journal at the age of ten, and has been assiduously archiving her own life and times with words and pictures ever since. For twenty-five years she wrote and drew the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. She is also the author of the best-selling Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which won an Eisner Award and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist. Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For have been translated into many languages. Bechdel has drawn comics for Slate, McSweeney’s, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Book Review, and Granta, among other places.