Princeton University’s Spencer Trask Lectures: Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist

An Evening with Alison Bechdel

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

McCosh 10; 6:00 pm

Alison Bechdel is an internationally beloved cartoonist whose darkly humorous graphic memoirs, astute writing and evocative drawing have forged an unlikely intimacy with a wide and disparate range of readers.  She will explore her artistic process; describe her  unlikely road to activism; and share insight into her new work and the current political climate.

For twenty-five years Alison self-syndicated Dykes to Watch Out For. The award- winning generational chronicle has been called “one of the pre-eminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period” by Ms. Magazine. From the strip was born the now famous “Bechdel test,” a measure of gender bias in film.

Alison’s  first graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) was named the Best Book of the year by TIME, describing the tightly architected investigation into her closeted bisexual father’s suicide “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” Fun Home was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and was adapted into a Broadway musical that has won five Tony Awards including Best Musical. Her 2012 memoir Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama delved into not just her relationship with her own mother, but the theories of the 20th century British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott.

Alison was the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2014 she received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. In their citation the MacArthur Foundation noted that Alison “is changing our notions of the contemporary memoir and expanding the expressive potential of the graphic form.”

This event, sponsored by the Spencer Trask Lecture Series, is free and open to the public, with no ticket or reservation required.