Home and Garden

August 3rd, 2006 | Uncategorized

There’s a story about Fun Home in today’s New York Times Home and Garden section. I drove to my home town a couple weeks ago to meet Ginia Bellafante, the reporter, at the house I spent my childhood dusting. The place is on the market, and a lot of my dad’s decorating is still intact.

23 Responses to “Home and Garden”

  1. meg says:

    “Ms. Bechdel, a slight, sinewy woman who speaks contemplatively and, at 45, shows no sign that she is in middle age…”

    is that where we are? What an odd thought…

  2. Kate Wisniewski says:

    Allison – OK, now my mind is completly blown! I nearly freaked when I opened my NYTimes this morning – gad – there’s your house! and who did you run into in Beech Creek? I’m going to have to swing by when I’m back there in August…

  3. Jen says:

    It’s a nice article. But “sinewy” has got to be the most bizarre euphamism I’ve ever seen. It pretty much screams “her short haircut and lack of make-up freaked me the hell out!”.

    On the other hand, being sinewy makes you pretty safe from cannibals I would think. At least there’s comfort in that.

  4. JJ says:

    Cool pictures and nice article.
    I’ll have to pick up a copy of the NYT on the way home.

  5. kolbester says:

    Lean and muscular.
    Strong and vigorous

    Nothing wrong with that!

  6. Deb says:

    I love the fact that you went to the small diner to eat lunch, people recognized you and came out with their books to have you sign! Sort of like coming out all over again! Loved the article and pictures! Sinewy??!! kolbester, I like your synonyms! Love the house too!

  7. Sarah says:

    Too bad I don’t get the NY times. Really nice photos and article. It’s strange seeing the things from the book in real life, especially all the flowers. I think if I had to look at all those flowers for 18 years, I’d have gagged on my dust rag.

  8. Sir Real says:

    Some erudite vocab in the article, almost up to Alison’s par! Here’s the term that sent me to the dictionary: “heavy draperies… in tenebrous colors”
    (tn-brs) also te·neb·ri·ous (t-nbr-s)
    Dark and gloomy.

  9. Lee says:

    What struck me about the article was “Since the book’s release, she has discovered that many people in town long knew of her father’s secrets.”

    So, I wonder about that. How the process of writing and creating your own take on things, over years- the labor of creating the book- and putting it out there- has created wave of information back — wondering how your take on the events of the book may have gotten challenged, changed, revised, morphed… and how disconcerting that could be.

    In fact, this whole process seems as though it could be quite disorienting on so many levels.



  10. Ann says:

    Check it out. The “related features” listed at the bottom of the article page: home furnishings, homosexuality. Pretty much sums it up, huh?

  11. K.B. says:

    Maybe this is not the right place on this blog to post this, but I couldn’t find a better one:

    I noticed that there was no wikipedia article on Fun Home yet. It should be a lot of fun to write. I started the stub just now, but I should get back to my own work. Please all A.B. fans contribute. How fast can we get it to featured status???

  12. JJ says:

    I picked up the paper and was disappointed to see the pictures in black and white. You just can’t get the detail in print like you can get on the screen. I’ll have to see if I can print them out in color from the computer.

  13. Sarah R. says:

    I thought this was an excellent article. Few other comments to make other than that it seemed that the author really made an effort to get to the essence of Fun Home and the people it chronicles.

    Congratulations, again, and as usual.

  14. Sarah R. says:

    Okay, I lied, because I find myself prompted to wonder if any other (out) butch lesbian has received so many column inches in the NYT, ever. I think not.

    That’s rather impressive, I would say.

  15. Deena in OR says:

    Back to the “middle-aged” reference…I’m Alison’s age (roughly), and yeah, I guess that’s accurate. Of course, she wears it better than I. 🙂 I guess that’s what coming out later in life, divorcing a nightmare of an ex-husband and being a single parent of teenagers will do. (Insert wry smile here….)

  16. Suzanonymous says:

    I liked the way the article wondered about and weaved in the meaning of the flowery, self-controlled, opulence for the original people who designed the house, furnishings, ornament. The people of that era. I was thinking about that in reading Fun Home.

    If you go to a miniatures store, most of the stuff is set in that era. And look in some of Beatrix Potter’s books, the interiors. There’s something about Victoriana that has had long lasting appeal to many people over the years, apparently.

  17. mlk says:

    this article made me wince. I can only imagine Alison’s response to it!!

    “Ever since she began work on “Fun Home,” over seven years ago, she has become an avid archivist of her own life.” PLEASE!! Alison states in “Fun Home” that she’d archived her life since childhood, and this, in fact, is what made it possible for her to write the book at all. as an aside, I can’t imagine a person so devoted to detail and truth writing a memoir without primary source material that dates back to the events she relates. beginning to document her life when she began writing the book is years too late!!

    And to say “Though the marriage had continued through such infidelities, it now seemed likely to dissolve.” apparently misses that “Fun Home” is quite clear about Alison’s mother’s intention to leave the marriage. The marriage DID dissolve, but not in the manner that Alison and her mother anticipated.

    I agree w/Suzanonymous, though, that the article’s references to the Victorian era’s repression is a strength. This is a theme in “Fun Home,” and Pappa Bechdel’s life, that many reviews haven’t picked up on.

  18. ES says:

    wondering who this guiding designer was (see article, about the custom wall paper print) who advised Alison’s dad. sadly, yes, i have heard other stories of people taking their own lives after completing a comprehensive project of self-expression. and if Alison’s mom might soon have divorced him, this too could have been a way that a deeply conflicted man might have kept some last move allowing him to control elements in his life, even by ending it before some shame would be able to catch up with him so publicly. all hypothetical of course.

  19. Suzanonymous says:

    And yet there’s the possibility that what made Mr. Bechdel jump backwards was seeing one of his former uh, “orchids,” lying in wait in the bushes, all buffed up from college football, ready to exact revenge. Guys can be like that..

  20. Eva says:

    Suzanonymous, you said a mouthful.

  21. Suzanonymous says:

    Logging on to make a quick note: I’m not saying he *wasn’t* suicidal (come to think of it, the near “catastrophe” from the past could have been a euphemism for a near suicide). Suicidal or not, jumping back is a nearly-uncontrollable reaction to the sight of a true threat.

  22. Ann says:

    “like he saw a snake”, the truck driver said.

  23. Mike says:

    Get best home & garden products at lowest prices by shopping here at CouponAlbum my favorite site…..