My 2015 novel, Locus Amoenus, is a dark comedy featuring Hamlet as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Today you can download the audiobook (free) . It’s the last great work by actor Ben Jorgensen who was suicided by the lockdown. Today, not incidentally, I will be completing the last few chapters of my new novel, part 2 of this saga. I’ll be dedicating this novel to Ben, of course.
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.
Set in the nearby Harlem Valley region of New York, the story involves a 9/11 widow, Gertrude, and her son, Hamlet, who move to the country to run a sustainable farm. Unfortunately, they find their neighbors prefer the starchy products of industrialized agriculture. On the 8th anniversary of Hamlet senior’s death, Gertrude marries an incompetent federal bureaucrat named Claudius, who tries to get the eighteen-year-old Hamlet to “move on.” As Hamlet is becoming more and more disgusted by the hypocrisy of the adult world he’s entering, Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, tells Hamlet that his new stepfather is a fraud and something is rotten in the United States of America. With gallows humor, Alexander looks at the tragedy that is contemporary post 9/11 politics, as it plays out in small town America where health and happiness have been traded for processed foods, cheap Walmart goods, Paxil, and endless war.
Kirkus Reviews likened Alexander’s Hamlet to Holden Caulfield (the angry hero of The Catcher in the Rye), but he is more like his namesake, plagued with doubt about the news that Horatio brings him.
In the Wild River Review, cultural critic William Irwin Thompson compares Alexander to Thomas Pynchon and calls Locus Amoenus “an important contribution to contemporary American fiction.”
Man Booker Prize finalist Josip Novakovich praises Alexander for her critique of American consumerism: “despite the tragedy, we have the consolation of her humor. I haven’t laughed this well while reading in a long time.”
Victoria N. Alexander, PhD, is the author of two other novels, Smoking Hopes (Washington Prize for Fiction), Naked Singularity (Dallas Observer‘s “Best of 2003”), and a work of philosophy, The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature, and Nature. Alexander’s fiction is published by The Permanent Press, one of the finest small presses in the U.S., which has been “turning out literary gems…on a shoestring,” since 1978, according to The New York Times. Locus Amoenus is set in Amenia, New York, an upstate rural community where Alexander’s family owns a sheep farm.
Upstate Novelist, Victoria N. Alexander, To Give Reading at the Golden Notebook
by Gary Alexander
Have you spent too much time trying to convince your girlfriend that ‘Decadent’ is not a flavor? Or are you ticked off that some nutritional idealist wants your school cafeteria to use coconut oil on something your kid might eat for lunch? (Not here! We don’t have coconut trees along the Hudson River!) The most stark divisions in America may spring not from political, ethnic or racial backgrounds but from informational sources and a currently prevailing chasm between American cultural lifestyles.
This is a theme explored in the darkly humorous novel, “Locus Amoenus” by Victoria N. Alexander, Ph.D. (my new bride-just joking; she’s no relation), who will be reading at the Golden Notebook bookstore in Woodstock at 6 PM on Saturday, August 1st. Continue reading
Pleased to see my novel in the window at Oblong Books in Millerton.
Locus Amoenus by Victoria N Alexander
In this dark comedy, 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, move to Amenia to run an organic farm. Unfortunately, their neighbors prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture, and Hamlet, who is now eighteen, suspects that something is rotten in the United States of America, where health and happiness are traded for cheap Walmart goods, Paxil, standard curriculum, fossil fuel pollution, and endless war.
Victoria N. Alexander, PhD, is also the author of Smoking Hopes (Washington Prize for Fiction), Naked Singularity (Dallas Observer‘s “Best of 2003”), and The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature and Nature.
Leading character, Hamlet, now 18, is “beginning 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,” according to one book review. Continue reading
The wonderful tiny library in the hamlet of Amenia will be hosting a book signing for Locus Amoenus, the story about Hamlet, set in Amenia. There will also be a book fair (with used books) and bake sale to raise money for the library. The Presbyterian Church behind the library will be hosting its annual strawberry fair in conjunction with the book fair. This time I won’t be sharing my book table with a celebrity author like last week in Millbrook. I will be sharing my table with muffins and scones baked by some of Amenia’s baking masters.
Please come out and support the library, which has been the heart of our life in Amenia for these last twelve years. Lucian got his library card when he was a week old. And the librarian, Mrs. Devine, was the first friend I made in the hamlet.
All proceeds from book sales to benefit the library. Unfortunately, I will only have a handful of preview copies available for sale. Last week the publisher let me know that the hardcover release has been delayed again for another week. Books ship on the 14th or so. But the Kindle and Nook versions have been released ahead of the hardcover.
Friends who have already read the preview copy of Locus Amoenus can now post reviews on Amazon. Please do so! For more info about the book go to http://amzn.to/1JwwkmO Get the Kindle version today or pre-order the hardcover at a big discount.
I shared a table with the author of American Sniper at the Millbrook Literary Festival yesterday. Here I am getting photobombed by a man pointing to the celebrity author. I thought this was significant, somehow, since my novel, Locus Amoenus, is anti-war. I had a great day. Sold out of the paperback pre-view copies.
Hardcovers will be out June 12th and will be available at Merritt Book Store in Millbrook. Get 20% off now on Amazon if you pre-order. http://amzn.to/1FMGFab
Get your copy now while Amazon is offering a 21 percent discount. The hardcover of Locus Amoenus will be in stores June 12th. Click on jacket image to enlarge.
A tale of dark political corruption, betrayal and a through the looking-glass world where you can believe six impossible things before breakfast, Locus Amœnus is also a fiercely funny romp by a talented writer.
Locus Amœnus is now available on Amazon at a 10% discount.