Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

Title: Are You My Mother?

Author: Alison Bechdel

Context: Are You My Mother? is a graphic memoir (2012) illustrated and written by Alison Bechdel. The novel is about the relationship she has with her mother. The novel is a companion-piece of work to Fun Home her earlier work which deals with her relationship with her father. Memoir is interwoven with exploration of different literary works (especially Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and with psychoanalysis.

Synopsis: Each of the seven chapters, of the graphic novel are introduced with a description of Bechdel’s dream. Then each of the dreams is explained and interpreted in context of different events in the life of Bechdel and while doing so, the dream jumps forwards and backwards.

Incidents that took place before Bechdel was born right up to the time of editing, Are You My Mother? are covered in the graphic novel. Bechdel has perfectly tried to come to grips with her relationship with her mother in the book. The mother is an amateur and unaffectionate actor trapped to a closeted homosexual, in marriage.

Bechdel’s own recollections are supplemented with insight from Donald Winnicott, the psychoanalyst, especially with regards to his notion of false self, true self and his transitional objects theory, while she explores the lack of warmth of her mother.

Bechdel’s adult life is marked with troubles she faced during childhood as depicted in different scenes of visiting psychologists later on in life. An uplifting note ends with lines indicating that Bechdel that there is a void, gap and a lack which her mother didn’t give her but instead she gave her something else, more valuable and that is her mother has given her the way out.

Read realted notes  Japanese Author - Murasaki Shibiku

Other works by the author:

2008 – The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

2006 – Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic