Are You My Mother? ePUB ó Are You MOBI :Ê

  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Are You My Mother?
  • Alison Bechdel
  • 08 October 2016
  • 9780544002234

10 thoughts on “Are You My Mother?

  1. Sam Quixote Sam Quixote says:

    I was a big fan of Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home” when it came out 6 years ago it was an interesting and insightful memoir about her growing up in a funeral home with a father who was secretly homosexual and would later commit suicide and then discovering that she was gay as well It was an excellent book that I would recommend to all comics fans but also readers in general so I was looking forward to this follow up this time the focus supposedly being on her mother What revelations could there be? Not many as it turns out and neither is the book particularly about Bechdel’s mum The book gets off to an uneasy and rambling start with Bechdel bewailing a lack of clarity when writing this book It begins with a kind of dream then segues into the then present most of the mum stuff in the “now” is set circa 2009 before going off on a tangent to Virginia Woolf and then back to her mum in the present I waited for the book to settle down and expected Bechdel to begin telling her mother’s story which she does in part in between scenes where she visits a series of therapists talking about her own neuroses and talking – and uoting at length – psychoanalysts she’s been reading This isn’t really a memoir about her mum it’s only one part of the book And if we were to look only at that we wouldn’t find much Her mum went through spells of depression and it can’t have been easy married to a closet homosexual with a horrible temper but she just isn’t as interesting a person to read about as Bechdel’s dad was The rest of the book is mostly a mish mash of anecdotes about psychology Bechdel writes about various psychologists whose work has had an impact on her life trying to get a better relationship with her mum and helping her through her tangled web of relationships with other lesbians and this part of the book repeatedly returned to is by far the most tedious to read She doesn’t write about them as much as she copies out entire passages from their books highlighting sentences here and there Unless you have an interest in psychology – and I don’t – this part of the book is just dully academic to read She also writes about Virginia Woolf at length uoting “To The Lighthouse” freuently and I have to say after reading “Mrs Dalloway” a couple of years ago I’m no fan of Woolf I found when Bechdel began uoting Woolf at length coupled with the psychology textbook copy and pasting that I was becoming even uninterested in this book So besides the psychobabble textbook uoting the Woolf stuff psychobabble in the therapist scenes and a look at her mother’s fairly ordinary life what’s left? Not much I’m afraid The structure is very wobbly the scenes merging strangely with no real idea of what the whole is supposed to be It’s not much fun to read and boy is it long at nearly 300 pages made longer with the extensive psychology passages By the end I was just glad to get it over with Bechdel’s art is great but the writing needed some serious editing as it’s meandering tangential narrative is too unclear as to what it's supposed to be It started out as a look at her mum’s life and wound up being about Bechdel’s own frankly overblown as Chris Rock calls them “white people problems” neurotic sensibilities and it’s not much fun to read about her figuring them out It doesn’t feel like it’s worth an entire book and “Are You My Mother?” is in the end a very weak follow up to “Fun Home” containing far too much intellectual posturing and not enough substance Not a great read though I'm sure psychology students will probably love it to bits

  2. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    A new chlorine resistant swimsuit? Is there such a thing? I think that means swimming in the buff but what do I know? Got your attention? Greatthis is one hell of a sophisticated intellectual and emotional graphic book Author Alison Bechdel is simply awesome there is just no other way to say it BOTH of HER BOOKS are PRICELESSShe says My mother composed me as I now compose her This memoir is not 'all' about her mother yet I loved how it felt so real how Alison was TRYING TO FIGURE OUT BOTH SIDES OF THE COUCH OF WHAT PSYCHOANALYSIS DID FOR HER PARENTS I thought about this purpose of Alison's throughoutthings circled back to her mother by the end Alison can draw like there is no tomorrow she is funnybrilliant fascinatingand heartwarmingI love BOTH OF HER GRAPHIC BOOKS But read FUN HOUSE first

  3. Fabian Fabian says:

    Another absolutely spectacular entry into the graphic novel canon But because its an attempt to emulate its brill predecessor the glorious Fun Home has less anchors or poetic ideas that pop up with artful disposition throughout this a very unmerry meta effort it is a cranial deconstruction of prior psychoanalyses I suppose less hearty than the ode to Bechdel's father it succeeds less than her true masterpiece To be fair To top Fun Home? Simply impossiblePS Fun Home at the Ellie this month on the 19thPPS Not a single dry eye at the opera house hard to forget

  4. Patrick Patrick says:

    All books have a price of admissionWith some books this price is so low we never notice it Maybe all it reuires to read some things is very low level literacy and a willingness to turn pages Other books reuire that literacy More vocabulary or willingness to use a dictionary Many books most notably literary or academic works reuire that you have knowledge of certain things to get in the door so to speak Maybe you need to have read Kant Maybe you need to speak Latin or French And some books have varying strata of reuirements You can enjoy them at a base level no matter what but if you have certain things under your belt you have the opportunity to enjoy them at a much higher level The Sandman comics are a good example of this varying strata Anyone can enjoy the basic story But if you know mythology you'll enjoy things much If you know Shakespeare it opens up another level If you get superheroes there's some treasures that are only available to you This book is like that But the big difference is that the vast majority of the story is occluded if you don't have a good working knowledge of Virginia Woolf and her works AND if not an understanding of psychoanalysis then at least a strong interest in it I have neither I'm a fan of therapy but not so much the strict Freudian stuff I'm a cognitive behaviorist Despite this I found the story interesting I enjoy stories about stories and it's interesting to watch another person's journey trying to find the truth What's there were interesting facts and tidbits scattered throughout that made the reading worthwhile To be fair though I find stories about people struggling to write stories less appealing Maybe it's just too close to my real life to be fun for me In some ways this might seem like I'm damning the book with faint praise But the truth is I don't think this book was really for me Whatever the target demographic is I'm not it People interested in Alison Bechdel's life People interested in psychoanalysis People working through complicated relationships with their mothers People who enjoyed Bechdel's Fun House People who have read Virginia Woolf's works People interested in Virgina Woolf Given that I only hit two of these the first and the forth The fact that I liked the book at all is rather impressive and a testament to the craft Bechdel brought to bear in writing and drawing it

  5. Moira Moira says:

    Well As an artist who grew up in a museum as the daughter of a complicated and creative mother hi Mom and as a skeptical analysand I found MUCH that spoke to me about Are You My Mother? But I have a strong bias against works of art that are about how difficult it is to make works of art so I can't wholeheartedly endorse this as I could her previous graphic novel memoir Fun HomeUpon further reflection I have to add that I am in awe of Alison Bechdel's bravery I spent no fewer than 6 days trying to write the three sentence review above These puny bits of self revelation my feelings about my mom are complicated I've been in analysis etc are very difficult for me but truly peanuts compared to the truths laid out in any given handful of panels in this book So maybe that's the point of this book for me My own struggles were reflected back to me through Alison's words and art and I gained courage and perhaps importantly that very rare feeling of being slightly less alone

  6. Melody Melody says:

    Wow I am having a hard time believing how much I disliked this book The two stars are for the drawings not the text I found it recursive uninteresting no stultifying masturbatory and at heart fairly hollow There are pages and pages of transcriptions from the writings of eminent Freudians pages of Bechdel's therapy and pages of the dreams of both Bechdel and eminent Freudians Perhaps my own psychoanalysis would be interesting to me though I doubt it someone else's surely is not Despite the claustrophobic focus on Bechdel and her anxieties there's a curious distance here that fed my boredom and made turning every page a struggle It's ostensibly a memoir of her relationship with her mother but I don't think this worked out very well It might be just too hard to get the proper distance when the subject of one's retrospective is still alive and opining on one's work I am a huge fan of Dykes to Watch Out For and I loved Fun Home A Family Tragicomic with all my heart This one didn't work for me Not even a little

  7. Gene Hult Gene Hult says:

    I'm a huge fan of Bechdel's previous graphic memoir FUN HOME which centers around her closeted father and the ornate family house where Bechdel grew up I've read it several times always moved and impressed by its narrative and visual power and always finding new angles of interest with each reread Her new graphic memoir ARE YOU MY MOTHER? ostensibly centers around her mother this go around And while it's brilliantly drawn and certainly an impressive psychological and intellectual achievement I wasn't as engaged with its narrativeFirst of all ARE YOU MY MOTHER? is much meta even with characters referring to it as a meta book within the pages and it may have suffered for that It's analyzed and distanced with overlaying therapy commentary criticism and self consciousness that mostly reads as rather intrusive voice over It's of a psychological exploration mystery than a storytelling narrative and sometimes reads as a self help guide rather than narrative non fiction Oddly for a graphic memoir it actually takes the old adage of show don't tell and turns it around so completely that it takes telling to new heights despite the presence of wonderfully evocative illustrations I began to resent the intellectual overlays that seemed to interrupt the narrative and even though all the psychological exploration and analysis was interesting and smart I kept feeling that it should have been submerged into the story itself rather than layered on top of the narrative like meta commentaryStill it's an enlightening book with some deep rooted personal and universal issues being tackled Perhaps if I was interested in nakedly presented psychoanalysis I would have been engaged and affected but I prefer my narrative to stay in story as much as possible and I ultimately found the meta commentary intrusive and even off putting Rather than reading a story it felt like I was listening to someone's therapy sessions and dreams and those are conversation killers Don't tell me your problems tell me your STORYThe illustrations are gorgeous and touching throughout with many poignant moments evoked through simple expressions and silent poses I just wish everything had been subsumed within the narrative and not been uite so analyzed and deconstructedHowever it WILL make you consider your own mother in fascinating and unsettling ways so prepare for that

  8. Jessica Jessica says:

    I'd strongly recommend Fun Home to pretty much everyone but I wouldn't recommend Are You My Mother? to almost anyone including my own mother who I see on here tried to read this after loving Fun Home which I gave her but then apparently gave up in disgust And I can totally guess why as there's a lot in here that it's perfectly reasonable not to likeThat said I fiercely loved this book and it made me cry and cry Alison Bechdel is such a genius that I kind of just can't even deal with it and this book is incredible in so many ways I'm not sure I would've felt this way if I hadn't read Fun Home first though; there's an analogy to be made between initially unappealing sex acts and a plotless ultra meta comic memoir about object relations theory that is an extremely detailed and specific examination of a woman's relationship with her mother If this had been my first date with Alison Bechdel I might've jumped up grabbed my clothes and run out of her room As it was though we'd had such an amazing time together and I was already sort of in love with her so I was willing to follow this book to places I otherwise wouldn't have been ready to goI'm not particularly interested in psychoanalytic theory though I'm conversant with its basic ideas as I was forced to study them in social work school Somehow this book actually made me want to go into analysis though I think I might be better matched with a frightening Kleinian over a warm fuzzy Winnicott type Are You My Mother? represented therapy and Winnicott's ideas in a way that I can see not being interesting to all readers but that I found compelling In theory there are few things I'd rather read than a therapy memoir but somehow Alison Bechdel is so smart and great and I love her drawings and the way she processes and presents information so much that I got super into this and felt completely swept away by it at several points It helps that I'm personally interested in some of the material about using her family as comic book fodder having known at least one tell all lesbian comic book memoirist myself in my dayIn sum I loved this book but don't come crying to me if you don't like it On the other hand if you read Fun Home and don't like it and can somehow prove to me that you're not a complete fucking idiot and that's the reason why I will refund any money you paid to buy it

  9. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    This is a therapy memoir and at one point Alison’s therapist says I have the sense that you were a very sweet kid A wonderful kid in fact Because as an adult and this will probably embarrass you you’re really adorableThis took me aback because for the previous 200 pages the Alison Bechdel presented here is anything but She’s horribly self obsessed self loathing morose envious morbid and really a total glumbucket She never cracks a smile You wouldn't want this Alison as a friend But that’s not the Alison I know Which makes this review really difficult and this book impossible to rate The Alison I know wrote one of my all time MUST READ comedy classics The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For That Alison is wry sharp hilarious and moving There’s only one thing the two Alisons have got in common – both of them can draw like a heavenly being with every line so clear and uncluttered each character being just exactly how people are On the level of graphic art this is a 5 star treatSo the problem is that I don’t have any time for the therapy business Once we have figured out how to avoid the coming ecocatastrophe then re framed the global economy to resolve the major issue of the one billion people on the planet living in absolute poverty then addressed the tidal wave of recreational drugs that are killing generations in one way or another maybe then we can turn to figuring out why the middle classes of this world have periods where it just seems like their lives are flat and their careers are going nowhere and their sex just isn’t so much fun as it used to be and it might be something to do with that evening when they were 7 years old and their mother just stopped kissing them goodnight just stopped with no word of warning Yes that particular example of bad parenting does appear in this memoir “When Mom abruptly stopped kissing me goodnight I felt almost as if she’d slapped me But I was stoic I betrayed no reaction” Until 26 years later we may addIt’s not like Alison is unaware of this One girlfriend is a ferocious activist is always protesting at nuclear bases and wants to rush off to Guatemala Meanwhile all Alison can do is wonder why she gave up writing poetry or stare at her favourite childhood teddybear Mr Beezum and realise He’s not me but he’s not not me eitherOr have various dreams that appear to be very significant like the one where she is trying frantically to dial a phone number 1 8 1 8 and when she wakes up she thinks ah that means the Jewish symbol chai because I had learned from Amy that in Hebrew Chai means “living” and that the numero logical sum of its letters is 18Good job Alison was not aware of the contemporary Nazi group Combat 18 named after Adolf 1 A 8 H you see Imagine if someone had not told her about chai but had told her about Combat 18 She’d have rushed off to the therapist saying “I had a dream where I was trying to call up Adolf Hitler Argh”The psychobabble is laid on with a trowel in this memoir What we get a whole lot of is Alison’s growing interestobsession in a child psychologist named Donald Winnicott Here is Alison’s version of this guy explaining her arachnophobia to one of his patients I think somewhere in your early development when you hadn’t uite separated out from your mother you hallucinated her That is you hallucinated the subjective object the breast or whatever expecting to be met But you weren’t There was a gap A dark lack an absence And as an infant you dealt with this in the only way you were able by putting legs round it And then it became a spider and you became afraid of itWow This sort of reasoning makes me want to run a long way away But therapy has a lot of fans I know and this book has mostly got ecstatic reviews So as you see it’s really unfair for me to rate this at all I’m copping out with three deeply troubled stars

  10. Sue Sue says:

    This has been a very interesting read different from Fun Home in my recollection by Bechdel' s attempt to understand and relate understanding of her mother and their complex relationship through her self education in and personal experience of psychoanalysis There are dreams to be analyzed comparison of their preferred authors Woolf for Alison Plath for her mother Memories from childhood both overtly happy and appearing uite sad And there are contemporaneous conversations as mother and daughter test the ground between themAnd tying it all together are Bechdel's drawings of her life This book is not as easily approachable as Fun Home It reflects all the difficulties the author experienced writing it But there is a depth present that any of us with a mother can appreciateI do recommend this book with the caveat that the reader be willing to undertake some interesting reading in psychoanalysis interspersed with the author's life observations expressed through graphic novel I did and am glad I for it I found myself thinking about my life and my mother often while reading thankful that my life was less complex than Alison's while also wondering at the multiple things I likely missed sight of along the way in my life4 to 45

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Are You My Mother?[PDF] ✪ Are You My Mother? By Alison Bechdel – From the best selling author of Fun Home Time magazine’s No 1 Book of the Year a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to beAlison Bechdel’s Fun H From the best selling author of Fun Home Time magazine’s No Book of the Year a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to beAlison 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 Are You MOBI :Ê touching or kissing her daughter good night forever when she was seven Poignantly hilariously Bechdel embarks on a uest 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.

About the Author: Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist Originally best known for the long running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For in she became a best selling and critically acclaimed author with her graphic memoir Fun Home.