Alison Bechdel

The Secret to Superhuman Strength
  • The Secret to Superhuman Strength

  • From the author of Fun Home, a profound graphic memoir of Bechdel's lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times

    Comics and cultural superstar Alison Bechdel delivers a deeply layered story of her fascination, from childhood to adulthood, with every fitness craze to come down the pike: from Jack LaLanne in the 60s ('Outlandish jumpsuit! Cantaloupe-sized guns!') to the existential oddness of present-day spin class. Readers will see their athletic or semi-active pasts flash before their eyes through an ever-evolving panoply of running shoes, bicycles, skis, and sundry other gear. But the more Bechdel tries to improve herself, the more her self appears to be the thing in her way. She turns for enlightenment to Eastern philosophers and literary figures, including Beat writer Jack Kerouac, whose search for self-transcendence in the great outdoors appears in moving conversation with the author's own. This gifted artist and not-getting-any-younger exerciser comes to a soulful conclusion. The secret to superhuman strength lies not in six-pack abs, but in something much less clearly defined: facing her own non-transcendent but all-important interdependence with others.

    A heartrendingly comic chronicle for our times.

Alison Bechdel is the author of two internationally acclaimed graphic memoirs, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama. Fun Home was a New York Times bestseller, won an Eisner Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was named a Best Book of the 21st Century by the Guardian, was adapted to a broadway musical which won five Tony Awards and is currently being adapted for cinema. For twenty-five years, she wrote and drew the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, a visual chronicle of modern life - queer and otherwise - considered 'one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre'. Alison Bechdel is guest editor of Best American Comics, 2011, and has drawn comics for Slate, McSweeney's, Entertainment Weekly, Granta, and The New York Times Book Review. In 2014 she was named as one of the recipients of the MacArthur 'Genius' Award. http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/

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