Are You My Mother pdf Summary Reviews by Alison Bechdel

Are You My Mother pdf book From the best-selling author of Fun HomeTime magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year. Are you my mother is a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

Are You My Mother Summary

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 discussion


About Alison Bechdel Author of Are you my Mother pdf Book

Aliso Bechdel
Aliso Bechdel

ALISON BECHDEL author of Are you my mother pdf book A comic drama has been a careful archivist of her own life and kept a journal since she was ten. Since 1983 she has been chronicling the lives of various characters in the fictionalized “Dykes to Watch Out For” strip, “one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period” (Ms.). The strip is syndicated in 50 alternative newspapers, translated into multiple languages, and collected into a book series with a quarter of a million copies in print. Utne magazine has listed DTWOF as “one of the greatest hits of the twentieth century.”

Are you my Mother pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information

Are you my mother pdf
Are you my mother pdf
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner Books; First Edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0618982507
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0618982509
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.38 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.94 x 9 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #1,122 in Biographies & History Graphic Novels
  • #2,110 in Literary Graphic Novels (Books)
  • #2,485 in Medical Child Psychology
  • Customer Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars    537 ratings

Are you my Mother Reviews

Swank IvyTop Contributor: Steven Universe (TV Show)

5.0 out of 5 stars Seizes the true complexity of a human relationship
Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2016

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I was just as blown away by this book as I was by its predecessor. Now I’m exhausted from reading it but feeling like I need to capture the effusiveness, so here I go with a review. This book is not just about a mother or about a daughter or about their relationship. Even though it zooms in on that particular relationship consistently throughout, examines specific conversations and attitudes and parallels they have experienced, it also still puts these events into a macrocosm that holds up a mirror to so many connections that we, the reader, will see in ourselves. The relationship between dreams and reality–what we want, what we fear, how we’ve failed and been failed. The relationship between fiction and real life–how a stage play can mean different things to different people or to the same person at different times in our lives (relevant because Alison’s mother was an actress). The exploration of therapy, of caring for others and being cared for, of artistic envy and anxiety and depression. All of these experiences are tied together so we can see how they are a life still in progress, and the skill with which this was managed was so amazing considering that it also oozes with honesty and lacks the pretentiousness of many other authors’ attempts to relay these truths.

M. T. Crenshaw

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant narrative and graphic book.
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2014

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Are you my Mother? is the most intellectually engaging comic book I have ever read, and I have read plenty! I came to this book because her name is in my list of “must” female graphic artists, and I am not disappointed. There are many reasons, beyond the undeniable quality of the book at both narrative and graphic levels, I was thrilled to find some of my favourite reading interests being part of the narrative (psychology, psychoanalysis, mental disorders) and some of my life practices reflected as well (dreamwork and metaconciousness), while a friend of mine is very interested in the Mother Archetype (and I even had a synchronicity event with her while reading this book).

Are you my Mother? is Bechdel’s quest to understand the relationship she has with her mother from childhood to the present time to help her understand how their relationship shaped her psyche an who she is. It sounds a bit boring, but it is not!

The book is a wide open window to Bechdel’s mind and heart, and to the way she lives and sees the world. She does not censor herself to be liked, so her opinions about the world, life or other artists, her family, her mother, her girlfriend/s and herself are sincere and believable. We also see her displaying her neurosis, depression, her obsessions and compulsions. Bechdel has a sharp-razor mind that understands complexity with easiness and sometimes she thinks the reader will to. I don’t think is always the case, but she does not debase herself to the level of the mainstream reader because that is not who she is. A killer combination of elements that will get any person interested. There is no fluff in this book, but you will find moments of tenderness, passion, fun, sadness, doubt, confusion and raw honesty, all of them infused in the hiper-metaconsciousness Bechdel swims daily to sort out her personal and creative life.

The book has a Matryoshka doll sort of feeling as it is organically multi-layered and cohesive in her graphic and literary narrative, and one layer cover another, which, at its turn, covers another, despite all being a perfectly organic set. This a very Magritte-ish book as well, both in the imagery (See, f. e. pages 212 or 252) and its structure. So we see her writing the book about her father, while she is interacting with her mother, creating the book about her mother, thinking about the book about her mother, seeing herself doing so, at the same time. Almost an out of the body experience. The chapter on mirrors is perhaps the most clear example of this Magritte’s man painting himself while paints himself while paints himself. Extremely cool.

Graphically speaking, Bechdel is amazing. Her drawings are realistic, very expressive and multifaceted, very attentive to the detail (from the facial micro-expressions to the details on the floor or walls, everything!) but also very dynamic. Her approach to this graphic novel is also very photographic and cinematic, and reminds me of a pre-movie visual-rendering of a script, because her drawings are not only fabulous per se, they are fabulously composed and framed: eagle-view scenes, scenes from the street into a room, scenes with the self as object (shots of her feet, reflections on a mirror or train window), voyeuristic (sex scenes). Moreover, she inserts and reproduces with her own handwriting personal (past and present) letters by her, her mother and her father, pages of newspapers, highlights from the books she is reading, clipped photos and quotes, mock-flashback images about her mother’s childhood, Winnicott and Wolf’s lives, and what it is not. Just awesome. They create texture, they create life on a paper and visually engage and enthral the reader.

Everything looks and flows so easily that one forgets that it is masterful. You have to stop and say wow to yourself, because this girl has an extraordinary talent. I found so many wow pages and vignettes! Just one example, pages 103-105 and how she depicts the pass of time, so beautifully simple and effective.

Having said the above, this is a complex book, divided in chapters that start with the depiction of one of her dreams, and dive into especial facets of the relationship mother-daughter from a psychoanalytic point of view. She starts with Freud and Jung readings but ends devoting her attention to the work of Donald Winnicott, whose life and writings on mother-child bonding click more with her. She also sees some parallels between Winnicott’s theories, Virginia Wolf’s writings (the Lighthouse especially) and her own life. Bechdel plays dream analyst and psychoanalyst with herself, and she is the object and the subject of her book. There are nudity, sex scenes and adult themes in the book, so this is not a graphic book for a lazy reader or for children.

I don’t like the hue of red used in the normal pages of the book. I would have rather had all in black or white or work on another hues. I found that the textures of the colour could have been better, but this me being fussy!

Andrea L. Stoeckel

4.0 out of 5 stars Great addition
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2022

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” Language gets very confusing as it approaches this place where the outside and inside touch … or fail to”

In this memoir, Bechdel takes in her mother and her own fears about communicating with her and others. I just adore Bechdel’s work, but this time, hooking the story around psychiatry kind of waters it down. It’s a 4and a half out of 5.


5.0 out of 5 stars raw and sometimes funny. Got all Alison Bechdel’s books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 4, 2015

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Fascinating author. Fascinating autobiography. Inspired drawings. Clever captions. Honest, raw and sometimes funny. Got all Alison Bechdel’s books. Just glad I’m alive at the same time she’s publishing. Really miss the Dykes to Watch Out For series. I buy everything Alison produces. She’s documented the lives through the decades of an otherwise over-looked minority, American lesbians (and various other life-forms!). Keep writing and drawing, Alison, your fans really love you and are interested in anything you want to explore 🙂

Amazon Customer

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but it’s not as good as Fun House
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2015

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Great book but if you read Fun House first you may be slightly disappointed, it does have the feel of “ok, Fun House was well received so my editor told me to do something similar”. If you’re buying a graphic autobiography for groundbreaking style and story then buy Fun House. If you love Alison Bechdel and want an in depth book about her neurotic tendencies, love life and experiences in therapy then this is the book for you.

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