Are You My Mother?

A Comic Drama

No cover

Alison Bechdel: Are You My Mother? (2012, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)

224 pages

English language

Published July 7, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

ISBN:
978-0-547-52436-8
Copied ISBN!

View on OpenLibrary

3 stars (26 reviews)

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama is a 2012 graphic memoir written and illustrated by Alison Bechdel, about her relationship with her mother. The book is a companion piece to her earlier work Fun Home, which deals with her relationship with her father. The book interweaves memoir with psychoanalysis and exploration of various literary works, particularly Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Its title alludes to the 1960 children's picture book Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman.

5 editions

Review of 'Are you my mother?' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

(Disclaimer: a close friend of mine really liked this book; another friend, I see now, gave it five stars. Both are intelligent people. So it’s entirely possible that I’m just not smart enough to get it.)

That said: ugh. This is basically a collection of Bechdel’s Kindle Clippings, sentences she really REALLY likes from the works of an obscure psychoanalyst and Virginia Woolf and a few others, with annotations of why they are JUST SO AMAZING; toss in long tedious play-by-plays of her own psychotherapy sessions; add lots of her own dreams; sprinkle liberally with insecurities and neuroses, add just the bare minimum of Bechdel’s beautiful art, and send it to a publisher.

Bechdel is brilliant. Talented, intelligent, compassionate. Adorable, too, I’m sure (a recurring theme). [b:Fun Home|38990|Fun Home A Family Tragicomic|Alison Bechdel|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1327652831l/38990.SY75.jpg|911368] is poignant, touching, witty, wonderful. Insightful. But this one... is not her best work. It’s …

Review of 'Are you my mother?' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

As Bechdel and her mother in the book agree on: this is a metabook. A book about analysing her relationship to her mother with the theories of Donald Winnicott, Alice Miller, a pinch of Freud and Lacan, and lots of literary references to Virginia Woolf. It is not an easy read. But anybody who is willing to dive into psychological theories about the development of infants and the mother-child-relationship will find it is worth the effort. It seems the book itself is her therapeutic process to understand her relationship with her mother (hence the title), so it is not really shaped to entertain a reader. My only criticism might be, that, as it happens when you've found a theory that finally seems to explain issues one has been struggling with for a while, Bechdel tries a bit too hard to squeeze everything into this interpretation grid, and things seem to …

Review of 'Are you my mother?' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Alison Bechdel is a talented writer and artist. This is the first long-format graphic novel I've read and I found it immensely readable. If I were more of a Virginia Woolf fan or more familiar with Winnicut's psychology, I may have enjoyed this more because she does a good job telling her story within the larger context of universal mother-child challenges. She kind of reminded me of the neurotic friends who fill my Facebook wall with posts about their every thought and action, no matter how mundane, because they've had too much therapy.

Review of 'Are you my mother?' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I am giving this book three stars, but I think I am being a bit generous. Two stars may be a bit closer to how I felt about it, but the book is not a total loss. I feel bad about that rating given that I enjoyed her previous book, Fun Home, immensely. The main problem, and we may as well just get to it right away, is the excessive psychoanalysis stuff she has put throughout the book. At times the book feels more like I am reading a psychology and psychoanalysis textbook than an actual biography/memoir. A little bit would have been ok, but once it became practically every single page of Winnicott says this, and Virginia Woolf says that, and Freud said the other thing, I sort of starting tuning out. That is a pity because Bechdel does have a good and universal story to tell: that …

avatar for faited

rated it

4 stars
avatar for ethne

rated it

5 stars
avatar for lattermild

rated it

3 stars
avatar for chrisamaphone

rated it

5 stars
avatar for bookllyfr

rated it

4 stars
avatar for SandraG

rated it

5 stars
avatar for rain

rated it

3 stars
avatar for tealtorch

rated it

4 stars
avatar for mchlgbbns

rated it

4 stars
avatar for court_ellis89

rated it

3 stars
avatar for ChadGayle

rated it

4 stars
avatar for LycanMatriarch

rated it

4 stars
avatar for yayJill

rated it

5 stars
avatar for linse

rated it

5 stars
avatar for revernau

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Smokler

rated it

4 stars
avatar for candlestick

rated it

4 stars

Subjects

  • Cartoonists
  • Authors, biography
  • Comics & graphic novels, nonfiction, general
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Lesbians, biography