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Sometimes those who have the most seem bent on throwing it away. Meet Bob Sterling, a comfortable middle-aged professor, a specialist in the life of Edgar Allan Poe, married to a former student with whom he has a young son. In the space of a week his family, marriage, career, sanity, and life are brought to the brink of ruin in the aftermath of a trip he makes with a student, the intense young poet Sienna Chu, who tweaks into florescence a long-harboured, secret sexual fetish. Then add to the mix the misadventures of his wife’s mentally failing mother, a shy night prowler, and Sienna’s explosive techno-junkie roommate. Poignant and gritty, tantalizingly erotic, Losing It is a high-wire act that plays out as a delicious blend of darkness and humour as it embraces the surprising emotional connections that are made in the midst of life’s madness.
From the Hardcover edition.
Marilyn. He was Dillinger blowing cover to see Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama and getting shot; he was King Kong and Fay Wray and her dad slicing ginger root and pouring tea; some grimy back street in the Bowery and Donald Trump’s erection and haywire graffiti; he was a wandering soul oozing on the sidewalk, smelling like chemical death, like dry-cleaning solution, like Sid and Nancy at the Chelsea Hotel. He was all of it at once and the wax was very brittle. She had to melt it before she could
leave my mother there any more. I have no confidence …” “Absolutely,” Lisette said, as if she understood. But how could she? It hadn’t been her mother wandering in the wild waters at Hog’s Back. Suddenly Julia thought, they stick up for one another, these old-age-home workers. Probably residents at Rideau Gates wander loose all the time too. She was so angry that she had to stop and ask Lisette to repeat what she’d been saying, which turned out to be a variation of what Julia had already heard
over the plastic tub and looked at the hairy paper and didn’t say anything. “I don’t know if somebody got a haircut, or what,” Donny said. “But if you could get some green garbage bags …” “It doesn’t matter,” she said sharply. “You don’t want me to clean it up?” “Oh, that. Oh yes, please. If you could,” she said, and then she turned around and walked off, came back in a minute with the green garbage bags. “Sometimes these things just accumulate,” Donny said. “There’s a lot of grease, too,
so much shallow breathing, and he felt even more lightheaded, like he would after a long day of wearing his tie too tight. He needed to get out of these clothes. They were wonderful, but now it was time. How long had Sienna been gone? Perhaps half an hour by now. That really was unusual. Something had happened to her. He didn’t want to rush away, yet he couldn’t wait forever. He just needed her to unstrap him, free him from this red leather dress, which was cutting into his back now. He could
It couldn’t have just been his altered appearance. It occurred to him that there must have been a mistake – maybe the local news had reported him dead in the fire, that was what was behind all the whispers and stares. He waited for her to recover, to say something about the fire or his clothing, or perhaps even about his continued existence, to cry out in joy and relief. But she didn’t, and she wasn’t her usual graceful self. She turned her eyes down quickly, her face looked strained, as if