Locus Amoenus, 9/11 novel by Victoria N. Alexander, has been nominated for the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Since 2007, the DLPP has awarded $10,000 each year. Previous recipients include, Bob Shacochis for The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, Junot Díaz for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Francine Prose for A Changed Man. The 2016 winner will be announced in September.
In Alexander’s dark comedy, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, move to the country to start a sustainable farm. The moody 18-year-old begins to suspect that something is rotten in the United States of America, when health, happiness and freedom are traded for cheap Walmart goods, Paxil, endless war, standard curriculum, and environmental degradation. He becomes very depressed when, on the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, his mother marries Claudius, a horrid, boring bureaucrat who worked on the World Trade Center towers report. Next, Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, arrives with the news that Claudius is a fraud.
Praise for Locus Amoenus
An important contribution to contemporary American fiction. –William Irwin Thompson, Wild River Review
An emotionally powerful geopolitical drama. –Equal Time for Freethought, WBAI radio NYC
A brilliant modern parallel to Shakespeare’s timeless work. –Literary Fiction Book Review
A clever and engaging novel…Alexander has a free-spirited style that entertains on every page. –Likely Stories Book Review, KWBU Heart of Texas Public Radio
Until now, the only 9/11-truth-themed novel of high literary quality was Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge. Locus Amoenus is the best fictional treatment of 9/11 yet. –Kevin Baret
The book’s conclusion, particularly the final pages, are phenomenal.–Luxury Reading
This is Hamlet reimagined as a truther. The protagonist isn’t just feigning madness–he’s genuinely losing his mind. –Kirkus