This week saw the release of cult cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s second work of non-fiction, Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama, a graphic memoir that investigates her relationship with her mother in all its fraught, tender weirdness. We’ve loved Bechdel ever since we read her 2006 memoir Fun Home, about her father’s suicide, and her newest work doesn’t disappoint — it’s at once poignant and goofy, alarming and sweet, and filled with vignettes of mother-child relations that will have you squirming with recognition, no matter who you are. After we zipped through the book, we felt a hankering for more memoirs about mothers, so in case you feel the same way thanks to a certain holiday on the horizon, we’ve collected a few of the best examples in recent memory here. Click through to check out our list, and let us know if we missed your favorite mommy memoir in the comments.
Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama, Alison Bechdel
Bechdel’s second memoir shifts focus from her father to her mother — though of course, these things are all still entwined: in Are You My Mother memoir, she is writing Fun Home, and seeking her mother’s reluctant approval. She discusses her relationship with her mother in depth, as well as her mother’s relationship with her art, which she’d like if it wasn’t so lesbian-y. ”I would love to see your name on a book,” her mother says after Bechdel signs a book deal. “But not on a book of lesbian cartoons.” In our eyes, the frustration and universally recognizable sadness inherent in this interaction drives the book.