A satirical examination of how we live in the 21st century, in the United Estates of America, with less civilization and more discontents than hitherto. Amidst nostalgic reflections on our past, Victoria notices current absurdities and contradictions in our appetites and critique of consumerism, and despite the tragedy, we have the consolation of her humor. I haven’t laughed this well while reading in a long time. Locus Amœnus is available now on Amazon.
Brilliantly combining Shakespeare’s knowing personal-political masterpiece, Hamlet, with post-911 ruminations of an edifying diversity of characters inhabiting Amenia in rural New York, novelist Victoria N. Alexander manages to do the three things that Nabokov says a good novelist must do: tell a story, inform, and enchant. Locus Amœnus, a short, sweet, sui generis blend of contemporary adult fiction and geopolitical drama, reminds us that something may be rotten in more than Denmark.
Locus Amœnus will be out soon. You can pre-order from Amazon at a 13% discount. (This discount decreases as the pub date nears!!)
Award-winning actor Ben Jorgensen will be reading the audiobook version of Victoria N. Alexander’s new novel Locus Amœnus, which is due to be released in hardcover at the end of April. The story is told by Hamlet, whose mother, a 9/11 widow, has recently married a corrupt bureaucrat named Claudius.
Beginning his acting career as the boy in Calvin Klein’s Obsession commercials directed by Richard Avedon, Ben Jorgensen’s credits include feature films, The Break with Martin Sheen and The Basketball Diaries with Leonardo DiCaprio. He won Emmy and GLAD awards for his portrayal of the gay teen Kevin Sheffield in All My Children and also had a feature role in As the World Turns. His most recent theater credits include What Will People Think!?, a Strawberry festival finalist, A Season in the Congo at La Mama, Hamlet (as the ghost) and Trial and Treason in the lead role as President.He also wrote and acted in the original play Manny’s Last Stand, starring Austin Pendleton, which was chosen to open the Summer Strawberry festival in 2013. He is currently working on his own version of Hamlet as a blues Opera.
The audiobook will be available late summer. Order a hard cover edition of Locus Amœnus from Amazon at a 13% discount for a limited time. (Next week the discount will be 12% then 11%…)
Okay, so maybe picking a Latin phrase, Locus Amœnus, with its weird spelling, for the title of my latest novel might make it a little hard for people to recommend it to friends. (If you order now from Amazon you can get 13% off.) Locus amœnus can be pronounced in English, Low cuss a men us, with stresses on “low” and “a.” In Latin you want to make “amœnus” sound more like “a moin us.” I have also heard amœnus pronounced “uh mean us.” Any of these are acceptable. This is America, after all.
Locus Amœnus means “pleasant location,” and it’s used in poetry to describe a restful place where nothing bad ever happens. It also happens to be the scene of the crime in many of Ovid’s tales, an idea which fits well with the theme of my novel. I couldn’t pass up this phrase for my title, despite its awkwardness, because the story is set in the rural upstate town of Amenia, a would-be pastoral paradise where I own a sheep farm. The name “Amenia” of course comes from the same Latin word as amœnus. Amenia is, by the way, variously pronounced as “Uh many uh” or “Uh meanie uh.”
The fossil fuel industry has an enormous impact on politics, the economy, and our health. This pollution Goliath is just too powerful to fight with government regulations. Take matters into your own hands and put vegetable oil in your fuel tank.
Electric cars will also be a good green choice some day. Unfortunately 44 percent of electricity is generated at coal-burning plants. The new construction of wind farms and run-of-the-river hydroelectric dams to power our super high-efficiency electric cars should be part of our long-term green energy strategy, but such projects require huge start-up funds and massive political support. People who want to help fight environmental pollution and disentangle our politics from the Middle East now — with the technology that is currently available — can run their diesel vehicles on vegetable oil.
Although burning vegetable oil does release carbon into the air, this carbon is already part of a natural cycle of plants taking in CO2 from the air and releasing oxygen. When plants decay, the stored carbon is released back into the environment. Burning vegetable oil does not add more carbon into the atmosphere than is already part of the available carbon constantly being recycled. In contrast, the carbon in fossil fuels is brought up from deep below the surface and added to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Continue reading →
While the world waits for corrupt politicians to pass legislation against political corruption, we can start voting with our dollars to help decentralize and diminish the political-economic powers that control us.
Every Thursday, Digital Journal readers will find a new article in the Do-It-Yourself Political Change series, describing some simple steps that we can take now to be the change we wish to see in the world. If we alter our consumption habits, we stop feeding the beast, and we can spend our time and energy building our local communities and doing the things for one another that the Federal government has promised, but failed, to do, such as clean up the environment, improve education, encourage small businesses, and alleviate extreme economic disparity. We may not have any power as voters (especially if we are given a choice between Hillary and Jeb for U.S. President in 2016), but we do have power as consumers and tax-payers. Our leaders, Right and Left, have abandoned us or been beguiled or blackmailed, and it’s up to us now straighten things out. Read more
Victoria N. Alexander is the author of Locus Amoenus, a 9/11 political satire novel about the decline of America.
Great News! My new novel, Locus Amœnus, will be published by Permanent, the same press that did my first and third novels, Smoking Hopes 1996 and Naked Singularity 2003. Help me make this novel a success by going to Amazon.com and posting quick 20-word reviews of my other books and boost my ratings. I am really happy to be working again with Permanent Press editor and publisher, Judy and Marty Shepard, and their new partner Chris Knopf, who have built their small press into an impressive, independent not-quite-so-small press, which, as the New York Times says, publishes some “literary gems” on a “shoestring” budget. I signed the contract today, and they expect the hardcover to be in bookstores early 2015. Advance review copies available soon. I’m looking for blurb writers and reviewers too. Let me know if you want a free e-copy now.