Paying it backward

The wheel of karma is downright speedy at times:

The author of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Fun Home was so horrified by the actions of South Carolina lawmakers and College of Charleston officials that she quickly joined an effort to bring the off-Broadway show based on her book to campus, according to local organizers.

Alison Bechdel and the cast of the New York City show are volunteering to present a concert version of the musical in Charleston. Two performances will be offered, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday, at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.

Origin of the flap:

Fun Home was the selected title for the College Reads! program and made available to all incoming students in the fall of 2013. It recounts Bechdel’s upbringing and explores themes of sexual identity.

In February, some lawmakers took issue with the book, and the S.C. House budget-writing committee moved to withdraw $52,000 of school funding, the cost of the summer reading program.

The censorship controversy flared, prompting acrimony on both sides and concern from supporters of academic freedom.

Next year’s selection, David Finkel’s The Good Soldiers, may be controversial for a different reason: Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning has contradicted some of Finkel’s narrative.

(Via this Will Creeley tweet. Creeley is Director of Legal and Public Advocacy for FIRE.)


  1. Dan Tobias »

    17 April 2014 · 7:47 am

    She’s the one responsible for the Bechdel Test:

  2. Brett »

    17 April 2014 · 9:38 am

    As I remember, Cornell’s incoming student summer reading program has had Kafka, Fitzgerald and some Greek philosophers. That’s the only one of these that I’ve ever heard of that puts works of any substance in front of their soon-to-be students.

    Had someone at the college encountered Marcus Aurelius, they might have been more aware that being funded by the state leaves one that much more at the mercy of the state’s funds: “He who eats my bread does my will.”

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