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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

book cover image of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Author/Illustrator Alison Bechdel

Book type: Graphic Novel

Where it is banned:

Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel describes her childhood in rural Pennsylvania and her complicated relationship with her father, a closeted gay man. It also explores the choices she made as an openly gay lesbian. The novel took over seven years to create, as Bechdel painstakingly photographed herself as a model for the book’s characters.  The book was first published in 2006 by Houghton Mifflin, and shortly thereafter appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List. It has been translated into multiple languages and won several awards, including two Eisner awards. In 2012, a musical based on Fun House was produced, and the novel has been optioned for film adaptation.

Attempted bans of Fun House emerged almost immediately after it was first published, when a resident of Missouri attempted to have it removed from public libraries. Challenges have occurred almost every year since the book was first published, with protests occurring in high schools, universities, and public libraries. In 2013, the South Carolina House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee cut funding for the College of Charleston’s summer reading program when their provost refused to remove the book from their curriculum.

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