philly free library

May 4th, 2012 | Uncategorized

There was a great crowd at my reading in Philadelphia last night, including a bunch of Bryn Mawr students who burst out at the end with the Bryn Mawr cheer (in Greek of course) Anassa kata, kale kale. Ia ia ia Nike! Later in the signing line a nice woman gave me a gift but not her name or any way to contact her, so on the off chance that she’s reading the blog, thank you for the amazing watchwork cufflinks!

I was also very happy to see Dr. E and Aunt Soozie again! Soozie passed on notes from some of you–thank you Meg W, and Ian for saying hello. Here’s a pic of the three of us: (I didn’t ask Soozie or Dr. E for their permission, so let me know if you want me to take this down)


(here we are in 2007 at the Philadelphia Library last time I was in town.)


Okay. Onward to DC!

22 Responses to “philly free library”

  1. Kate L says:

    Congrats, A.B.! Excelsior! 🙂 The only word of Greek I know. I can speak passable Klingon, though…

    Is this a good time to put in a shameless plug for this year’s anti-Phelps Family “Date With Hate” demonstration at the Moo U graduation?

  2. Jennifer Woodfin says:

    Oh, I wish Big Blue Marble Bookstore had been organized enough to try to schedule another signing before your Free Library reading.

    When you visited Big Blue Marble for Fun Home, you described Mt. Airy as “inhabited solely by lesbians with children.” As a Mt. Airy lesbian with a child, I couldn’t make it downtown this time! However, I live at Big Blue Marble.

    Oh well.

    I’m glad the Philly reading went well. The book is amazing!

  3. PJeannechild says:

    ‘watchwork cufflinks’!
    Waay cool.
    bring them to show & tell, for real!

  4. shadocat says:

    So jealous! Wonder if I could get my library to give AB a call???

  5. Andrew B says:

    Translation of the Bryn Mawr cheer, about halfway down the page. Either Alison made a typo or someone cleverly modified the cheer — in the latter case I’m too unsophisticated to pick it up, not being able to read either ancient or modern Greek.

    I like how the two pics document changing styles in eyeglass frames. Dr E, great tee shirt.

  6. PJeannechild says:

    FROM ew’s review: “Bechdel’s ability to capture this complicated dynamic in a comics format is at once dazzling, intellectually thrilling — and taxing.”

    MY RESPONSE: Ditto about dazzling, thrilling AND taxing – but only initially. Once I realized ‘this book is not like any other book i’ve ever read,’ I relaxed into an experience , hearing/feeling some pages as poetry, others as women-around-the-table weaving and spiraling of theory with experience, and still others as delicious dish about the lesbian feminist artist, intellectual and author of national stature who, while living through all this, was churning out Dykes and putting chunks of real-time angst, about which I’m just now reading, into those strips, which I fortunately own and will now go back to in order to match the timeline in AYMM? with events in DTWOF – well, once all THAT started going on simultaneously inside this head, I just stepped right off the linear plane and it wasn’t taxing – by which I mean ‘work’ – any more.

    Instead, a profound curiousity came over me, and I began to care deeply that I understand. As I used to as a voracious young reader stepping into worlds I’d never known, then later when I approached Adrienne Rich’s written, spoken challenges to women, to my generation, to me.

    Are You My Mother? just takes my breath away. I’ll be returning to it again and again. For the poetry. For my daughter. For the experience. For the art and the genius. For the bravery.

    This was a brave, brave thing you did, Alison Bechdel. Thank you.,,20590248,00.html

  7. Andrew B says:

    Several New England dates have been added to the Events page. Looks like Alison will do a mini-tour of NH, MA, and VT in June.

  8. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Oh ditto, PJeannechild! I engaged with AYMM on a much deeper level than any other book I’ve ever read, and it troubled me a lot at first. But leaving the material plane with it does help. Mind you, you have to leave bread crumbs around to get back home, but it does get easier the more often you read it.

  9. Sta?a says:


    Anassa kata, Alison and Bryn Mawr!

  10. Kathryn M says:

    Yes, a very brave, awesome book. I just acquired my copy yesterday and, seemingly like everyone else, finished it in a day. Wonderful, just wonderful.
    Thank you for writing this, Alison Bechdel!

  11. Ellen Orleans says:

    I am rationing my reading, but will finish AYMM tonight. Among other things, I like how some of the characters in the book (Alison’s mom, the Nicaragua girlfriend) look like characters in DTWOF (Sydney, Harriet). And as always, I enjoy the images of and references to the ’60s and ’70s. Not unlike Mad Men.

  12. Kate L says:

    Off-topic, but I’ve just come from the first Moo U Lavender Graduation ceremony. The chief speaker, from our Leadership Studies Department, talked about the courage it takes to be an LGBT student. She also added that the universe will expect a lot from the members of the LGBT community for the gift of being LGBT. The out LGBT students were recognized and honored, and then… so were LGBT alumni. I was presented with a certificate of appreciation, and the Moo U provost, who had just handed out rainbow graduation tassels to the graduates, gave me one, too. At the end of the ceremony, I was even given a potted lavender plant for my office. I’ve never received any recognition for my activism before.

  13. Meg Wallace says:


    Many thanks to Aunt Soozie for carrying the message!

  14. Feminista says:

    #12 Kate L: Congratulations,and it’s about time they gave credit where credit is due!

  15. Kate L says:

    Oh, my, oh, my! Thanks, Feminista! My Revolutionary Sisters Fist is in the air! 🙂

  16. bean says:

    funny, aunt soozie and dr. e look pretty much how i might have pictured you-all. don’t think i saw the earlier pic, but maybe i did. love the cat-eye frames, too! (my gf won’t let me have any, alas…)

    so, how about a southern vermont/western mass reading??? Everyone’s? Food For Thought? ok, i’ll keep dreaming…

  17. Pam says:

    Alison, it was great for me and for the rest of my family to finally meet you. The illustration, dialog balloons, and narrative panels in AYMM provide differing levels of information, and when you read the narrative panels as we viewed the illustration/dialog component, I sensed that your vocal inflections were yet another layer of information. My husband and I told you, and I will say it again, that a DVD variant on the e-book, with you reading the narrative against slides of the illustrations, would be incredible.

    Also: Having now read both the Times reviews, the negative one reminded me of other times when a writer or film director breaks pattern and people whine because it isn’t what they were expecting.

  18. Andrew B says:

    Bean, 16, check the Events page. South Hadley, June 15. June 14 Alison is scheduled to be in Portsmouth, NH. Then there are three Vermont dates, but none south of Montpelier.

  19. Aunt Soozie says:

    Hope Alison is holding up out there on the road!! She seemed energized and happy in Philadelphia but that was only stop three… of twelve… twelve cities in twelve days! (then a three day break and off to Chicago) Hang in there AB!!

    You’re welcome Meg and Thanks Bean… my GF helped me pick them out!! She’s an optical wear junkie and she has a great eye.

  20. Aunt Soozie says:

    ps… I’m finally upgrading the OS on my iMac and moving to iCloud. The folks at the Apple store recommended buying an external drive to back everything up first… normally I wouldn’t bother but after reading about Alison’s adventure I purchased the drive tonight.

    My iPod is already moved over to iCloud so I can access my email there but I can’t get anything on my desktop yet… have to order software first… oh Apple… I love you, but… it isn’t a perfect relationship… you do disappoint sometimes… still… it’s, uhm, good enough… so, I’m sticking around.

  21. Tim says:

    I was there. I’ve been a fan for 15 years, a little over half my life (ever since I secretly bought a copy of The Indelible Alison Bechdel at 13 in a quest to find out if I was really gay). Never seen you read before the other night at the Free Library. You were fabulous.

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