Sunday, July 15, 2007

Harvey Pekar's The Quitter

Dear Harvey Pekar,

I'm writing to tell you how much I liked reading The Quitter. I've read the two American Splendor anthologies, Our Cancer Year, Our Movie Year, and Unsung Hero, and I've always found your observations about everyday life funny, rueful, and moving. I think though that The Quitter moves into more difficult territory. It's a courageous move to write the story of your early life as frankly as you have — your teenaged effort to establish your toughness, and the various failed attempts at work and schooling that followed. The overall story reminds me of Proust's In Search of Lost Time: the mistakes and missteps turn out to be the materials of your vocation as a writer.

Your collaborations with R. Crumb are my favorites, but Dean Haspiel's art is beautiful and complementary, especially in the way it suggests shadowy brooding, in both the past and present.

Will an enlightened publisher someday put out a collection of your writing on jazz, supplemented perhaps by interviews? I'd welcome a Harvey Pekar Reader.

I hope these words find you in domestic, financial, and creative happiness.

All best wishes,

Michael Leddy

The Quitter (Amazon)

About Harvey Pekar (
Harvey Pekar (Wikipedia)
American Splendor (Wikipedia)
Archive of Harvey Pekar's reviews (Austin Chronicle)
Archive of Harvey Pekar's reviews (Weekly Wire)

Related post
On Unsung Hero

comments: 1

Chaser said...

You rock, Michael. I love American Splendor, too.