Official Genius Alison Bechdel’s Next Memoir To Focus On Her Fitness Obsession
Hot on the heels of being named a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, cartoonist Alison Bechdel has revealed through her publisher the subject of her third comics memoir; her lifelong obsession with health and fitness.
The Secret To Superhuman Strength does not mark a radical career switch for Bechdel into superhero comics. According to an announcement in the New York Times, the book will focus instead on both Bechdel's personal relationship with exercise and the history of fitness fads in America.
Bechdel is apparently a lifelong dabbler in such fads, having tried her hand (or leg) at every contemporary health craze from rollerblading to yoga, and the memoir will examine the relationship between physical well-being and creative energy.
Bechdel's previous memoirs, Fun Home and Are You My Mother, dealt with her relationships with her father and mother respectively, while also touching on themes of memory, identity, and reflection. The books are among the most critically lauded works of the past ten years, with Fun Home in particular receiving multiple plaudits including the Eisner for Best Reality-Based Work. The book has also been adapted as a musical that moves to Broadway next year.
A memoir focused on fitness may sound like an unlikely departure from Bechdel's other recent works, but as the third book in a trilogy, an examination of the physical self makes sense, with the focus of the three memoirs being "father", "mother", and "me". Given her past record, Bechdel seems certain to offer a profound take on what might otherwise seem a superficial subject. She is, after all, a genius.
The Secret To Superhuman Strength will be published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.