Alison Bechdel

The controversial current cover of Time magazine reads, “Are You Mom Enough?”; the image is of a young woman breast-feeding her three-year-old son (it illustrates an article on attachment parenting). It’s just one example of the ways our culture is fascinated by motherhood—and the countless ways it can go wrong. That’s also the topic of Are You My Mother?, the latest book by cartoonist and graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, longtime author of the Dykes to Watch Out For comics. While her first graphic memoir, Fun Home, told her father’s story, Bechdel’s newest book is the result of her herculean attempts to better understand herself, her mother, and their relationship. It’s a highly intelligent work that offers a deeply intimate look at Bechdel’s relationships and working process. Bechdel is speaking and signing books tonight at 7:30 PM at the Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark); it’s free with the purchase of a book, and companion tickets are $7.