Essex County named to Essential Top 10 Canadian Novels of the Decade

201011091320 Essex County named to Essential Top 10 Canadian Novels of the DecadeVia email from Jeff Lemire, the exciting news that “ESSEX COUNTY BECOMES THE FIRST GRAPHIC NOVEL TO BE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP TEN ESSENTIAL CANADIAN BOOKS OF THE DECADE!”

The selection comes as part of Canada Reads, a yearly literacy campaign aimed at spotlighting the best in Canadian literature. Voting was open to the public, and comics types have supported a vote for ESSEX COUNTY as a vote for comics legitimacy, but it’s certainly a deserved honor. Lemire’s bleak, spare tales of rural Canadian life and coming of age are timeless and powerfully told.

the complete Top 10:

The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

The Birth House by Ami McKay

The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall

Essex County by Jeff Lemire

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

Unless by Carol Shields



  1. DrewT says:


  2. Jeff P. says:

    This is great, great news, and well-deserved! Essex County is one of the few graphic novels I’ve given to friends who don’t read comics.

  3. kuo-yu liang says:

    Congratulations to Jeff, Brett & Chris.
    We’ve plenty of copies at the Diamond warehouse, place your orders!

  4. How Canada Reads works is that five well known Canadians are invited to be on the panel and each of them is asked to submit a list of books they feel all Canada should read. The producers then pick a book from each panelist and, over the course of the week the show is broadcasted the panelists vote each others books out of contention. If a panelist’s choice is voted off, that panelist remains to vote for, or against, the other books.

    This is the 10th anniversary of the program, so listeners were asked to submit their choices for Canada Reads. They then voted for the top ten, from a list of the forty most popular suggestions. The five panelists will then each pick a book from this list and then defend it on the program.

    I think its great to see Essex County on the list. I voted for it and I let people know about the vote on a couple of forums and my blog. Whether it makes the final five depends on whether or not a panelist decides to defend it.

    This could means a big sales boost for the book, but, unfortunately, even though its a very Canadian story, from a Canadian cartoonist, its been printed by a small American press and isn’t widely available. I work in a book story and, while we have a copy in stock (1), looking a our suppliers’ stock–Ingram, Partners West, etc–I see only 22 copies available. Hopefully this is wrong.

  5. A book store, obviously, not a book ‘story.’

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