“I have been reading all of your references, and I like Jeff Lemire even more than I did before. I re-read Essex County again after reading the blogs, and I was able to see it with a slightly different eye.
“At first reading, I found the bleakness hard to take (unsettling) because I felt myself being pulled into a world where the characters defy their own stereotypes by carrying (and quietly exposing) the emotional equivalent of Sisyphus’ boulder. This hits too close to home for me. Really…been there, remember it well. It doesn’t matter who the characters are. They suffer, they sacrifice, they yearn, they make mistakes, they are human.
“After re-reading, I still see that layer, but I also see an elegance I hadn’t seen before. This time, I was more prepared for the paradox–the co-existence of fragility and resilience. I like this in stories even more than I like irony…and I like irony. I am so grateful to you for giving me Essex County–I think it is truly a Canadian masterpiece.
“One day, after I’ve read more of his work, I would like to meet Jeff Lemire. The Underwater Welder sounds incredible–just by the title.”