Author of controversial CofC freshman book to visit campus

File Photo (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The author of a book that caused a stir amongst conservative groups is coming to the campus that recommended her work for incoming freshmen.The College of Charleston is hosting a lecture by cartoonist and author Alison Bechdel. Bechdel's graphic novel "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" was recommended to incoming CofC freshmen as part of the College Reads! program.Soon after, members of the Palmetto Family Council came forward with concerns regarding the choice of reading material for orientation, calling the book "pornographic."School officials stressed the fact that the graphic novel was not required reading, but encourages discussion on relevant topics. The book was picked by a committee made up of faculty, staff members, administrators and students. A release from the college includes the following description of Bechdel's accomplishments."Fun Home" is a coming of age story centered on Bechdel's complex relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and director of the town funeral home (the "Fun Home"). In college, Alison comes out as a lesbian and learns her father is gay. By retelling her story, she is able to come to terms with herself, her sexual identity, and her relationship with her father. Bechdel is also known for the long-running comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For."Her most recent work, "Are You My Mother," complements "Fun Home," with reflections on her fraught, complex relationship with her mother. Beyond her self-syndicated comics and memoirs, Bechdel has drawn for Slate, McSweeney's, The New York Times Book Review and U.K. literary magazine Granta. She was awarded a 2012-13 Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts and edited "Best American Comics 2011." Other honors include a seat on the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary in 2006, a fellowship at the University of Chicago and the "Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement", which honors LGBT writers.The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m.on October 24 in the TD Arena. The event is free and open to the public.