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, home, 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 brings to life Bob’s long-harbored sexual fetish. Add to the mix the misadventures of his wife’s mentally failing mother and Sienna’s explosive techno-junkie roommate, and you have Alan Cumyn’s strikingly accomplished novel Losing It.
Whether describing an Alzheimer sufferer, a fetishist, a twisted poet, or a young mother whose life is suddenly spinning out of control, Cumyn reveals the eccentric sub-surfaces of our lives. Poignant, gritty, and tantalizingly erotic, Losing It is a high-wire act that plays out as an irresistible blend of darkness and humor.