by Brian Lynch
Publication Date: 02/01/2009
A fictional imagining of the gentle but troubled zealot William Cowper—best known as a precursor to Romantics such as Wordsworth and Burns—Brian Lynch’s The Winner of Sorrow brings to life the mind and times of an eighteenth-century poet. Intense and exhilarating, this is literary fiction at its finest—the reader will be hard-pressed not to rush ahead to see what happens next. Yet you’ll want to savor every word as Lynch traces Cowper’s tragic descent into madness, which is presented matter-of-factly so that the novel is not sentimental but austere, not precious but serious, and yet, remarkably, lively, sensuous, and blackly comic.