The Ghosts We Know
Here is an intriguing, somber memoir that initially seems depressing, but which nevertheless seems to have a deep, grounded undercurrent of calm. You feel that the author has come to a place where he can hold all his experiences without judgment, dispassionately; he appreciates them for how they have shaped and changed him.
The book circles around and through the author’s life. He draws encapsulated stories of people he has met, like a homeless man who became a millionaire, or a hermit who insisted he began his life as a leaf, or the woman who haunted his memories. Many were just passing, chance encounters, but all made deep and lasting impressions. Various episodes shaped him, such as attending his first drawing classes, being bullied, or staying with friends as a teenager one summer. The episodes and drawings seem disconnected at first, but they build upon each other, though they are not organized chronologically (and have only a loose organization at all). You are pulled into his experiences and this dark, colorless yet extremely detailed world full of impressions and images that flow together and require time to understand. It is worth the effort. This book is one for quiet reflection.
Sean Karemaker • Sean Karemaker, Illustrator