I must address the pachyderm in the pantry. This time, my choice of subject matter comes with even more baggage than it did in my last book, Liber Prohibitorum. It’s difficult to write about great historical tragedies in the context of fiction for the simple fact that one always runs the risk of losing the gravitas, especially when a bit of drollness is thrown into the mix. Life’s more profound moments have often struck me as a blend of sadness and humour, specifically the humour I’ve been forced to find in order to keep on keeping on. Ultimately, the reader will decide whether the gravitas was sufficient, even as it ebbs and flows through the arc of this novel. There are many lines to walk in life, and every now and then one of them ends up becoming a high-wire act, which is probably a good description of the challenge I imposed on myself when I decided to further darken the subject matter by including stark portrayals of shocking things that’ve long been part of our societal underbelly. And now I suppose I should sign off by saying, you be the judge.