Graphic Novelist Alison Bechdel Wins MacArthur “Genius” Award

As we are in the midst of our Graphic Novel Symposium and our One Book Program on Giovanni’s Room, an artist who touches themes of both events was awarded the prestigious “Genius” award from the MacArthur Foundation.

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, has received critical acclaim for her work as a cartoonist and grpahic novelist. She explores issues of identity, family, and sexual orientation (among many topics). You can checkout a copy of Fun Home here in the MVCC Library.

Here are a couple of articles about Bechdel:

NPR: Book News: A Q&A With Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist And MacArthur Winner

PBS Newshour: From marriage equality advocate to materials scientist, MacArthur Foundation names 21 new ‘geniuses’

Here’s an excerpt of the biography provided by the MacArthur Foundation.

“Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist and graphic memoirist exploring the complexities of familial relationships in multilayered works that use the interplay of word and image to weave sophisticated narratives. Bechdel’s command of sequential narrative and her aesthetic as a visual artist was established in her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For (1983–2008), which realistically captured the lives of women in the lesbian community as they influenced and were influenced by the important cultural and political events of the day.

Garnering a devoted and diverse following, this pioneering work was a precursor to her book-length graphic memoirs. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) is a nuanced depiction of a childhood spent in an artistic family in a small Pennsylvania town and of her relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and funeral home director. An impeccable observer and record keeper, Bechdel incorporates drawings of archival materials, such as diaries, letters, photographs, and news clippings, as well as a variety of literary references in deep reflections into her own past.”

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