Near the end of Are You My Mother? Alison Bechdel describes the comic as a “meta book”—an exploration of Bechdel’s relationship with her mom and Bechdel’s grappling with how to write about her mom as she’s writing the comic. It’s probably the most apt description anyone will ever come up with for this title, so I’m going to run with “meta book” as the phrase that encompasses everything Are You My Mother? is and chooses to be.
I need to start out by saying that I was emotionally compromised while writing this review—right after reading the comic I went and listened to the cast recording of the musical version of Fun Home. The songs “Ring of Keys” (where younger!Alison first sees and identifies with the butch delivery woman in the diner) and “Telephone Wire” (Alison’s last car drive and conversation with her dad before his death) are giving me so many feelings.