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.
Locus Amoenus, a New Novel 9/11 as a Shakespearian Tragedy
The new novel by Victoria N. Alexander, Locus Amoenus, is a delight to read. It weaves an important modern-day tale while following the outline of William Shakespeare’s enduring tragedy, Hamlet. The Bard’s tale of Hamlet is a personal and community tragedy placed in a historical period in which the fight over the control of Hamlet’s native country ultimately leads to its subjugation to a foreign country. The characters woven into the Locus Amoenus story are no less tragic than Shakespeare’s, and the reader is left wondering just how the world of Alexander’s characters could have avoided being seduced into a current-day form of subjugation when the curtain comes down. Throughout her witty narrative, the author’s wry humor adds levity to her tale of today’s Hamlet. Continue reading →
Victoria N. Alexander’s latest novel, Locus Amoenus, turns Shakespeare’s moody dark Hamlet (something is rotten in the state of Denmark) into a glib, manic 9/11 conspiracy theorist who discovers that something is very rotten in the United States of America. The 191-page novel was released at the end of June and hit #2 in Amazon’s dark humor category briefly in August while Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five held out at #1. The novel has been highly praised outside of truther circles for its originality and acerbic wit, taking on, not just the inexcusably lax 9/11 investigation, but also pointing out the disastrous consequences of federal top-down control, for example, farm subsidies and nutrition guidelines, pharmaceutical subsidies, standard curriculum, and the “jobs and security” provided by the weapons and intelligence industries. Mainstream reviewers, award-winning novelists, and other celebrated critics have favorably compared Alexander to James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Pynchon, Lewis Carroll, Barbara Kingsolver, Vladimir Nobokov, and Don Delillo, as well as the bard himself. Could this be a breakthrough for the truth movement? Continue reading →
It’s ironic if you move to the bucolic quiet of natural surroundings of say, upstate New York, you may be out of the grit and hustle of the city but you may also find yourself in the midst of what America really looks like. The struggle for the Good Life begins again with wholly new challenges.
Ironically you will again be gaping aghast at material obsession and driven spending on poisonous foods and crappy stuff nobody should even want. The conspiracy reaches into the countryside, i-phone-dazed and texting people who are across the street, where nobody votes because the real choice is between Coke and Pepsi or Ford and Chevy, and the bureaucrats right next door are somehow sneaking closer and closer to what you do and say, or that the kids are getting bullied by Core Educational mandates and standardized testing that will determine their Continue reading →
Locus Amoenus by Victoria N. Alexander centers upon the bucolic county seat of Amenia in upstate New York where Gertrude and her son Hamlet make their home after the horror of 9/11 deprived them of husband and father respectively. Seeking a new start in the rural quiet, Gertrude purchases a sheep farm where they intend to live a sustainable lifestyle butchering their own livestock, growing vegetables, and eschewing the material trappings and celebrity-devotion of the modern world. The Webutuck school district, where Hamlet attends classes, greet Gertrude’s healthy food campaign with suspicion and distrust; populated by overweight teachers overseeing equally rotund students, they are all fed on processed, pre-packaged, warehouse-shipped food portions that fast-track the next generation to dull-eyed diabetes. Gertrude’s persistence leads, eventually, to Hamlet’s expulsion Continue reading →