News: Life is About Losing Everything [Review]

2012-05-09 16:06:PM ago by whitney.moran

Life is About Losing Everything by Lynn Crosbie
Published: May 2012
House of Anansi Press

We hold each other in the pool of blood and gore and I say, No one has ever understood me. No one has ever loved me, baby, not ever.

What a way to enter Lynn Crosbie’s (Paul’s Case) newest offering from House of Anansi Press. Bookended by a large photo of late-eighties, teased-hair Crosbie, gripping a cigarette like a phantom appendage, the marketing of this haunting, fragmented and sometimes fantastical pseudo-memoir is perfectly packaged to prepare the reader for the daunting task ahead.

Diving right in, Life is About Losing Everything pumps out story after story from the shameful crypts of Crosbie’s imagined past, dusting off the confetti and wringing the alcohol out of every failed romance, each tragic loss, self-loathing episode, and meaningful conversation she experienced over a seven-year period. Though this may sound trite, perhaps trying, Crosbie is able to drag the reader along by the scruff, and although—in her constant revelries—she sometimes forgets us for a page or two at a time, she allows us to be her invading conscience, her damaged body, her delicious brain.

Often reading like a voluptuously confessional prose poem akin to a Sexton or Plath of her time—but with the masochistic gusto to carry on—Crosbie’s stories are like anti-charms in a bracelet that cuts off your circulation, puncturing your skin with jarring images like “loneliness has attached itself to me with suction cups,” suggesting at one point that “What is lost is some sense of being alive.” Ultimately, a brave concoction of choked humour, tragedy, and the detritus of our lives, Crosbie manages to create something of astonishing poignancy and even a gritty kind of beauty.

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