“Alexander’s Locus Amœnus is a biting, witty, and ultimately touching window on modern American life. She evokes the wit and depth of the best of Kingsolver and high satire and earnest social exploration of Pynchon or Delillo. Her experiences bridging the worlds of rural and urban northeastern America provide those of us with experience of both a welcomed bit of nostalgia, longing, familiarity, and a sense of loss. This story is to be savored, and hopefully re-read in certain existential moods.”
“This brilliant, searing political novel deserves to be read by all of those interested in the current and future state of the United States of America. Darkly comic, wry and witty, Locus Amœnus is a genuine pastoral, a critique of the bloating and corruption of American life that draws on Hamlet for its dissection of politics, relationships, and love in post-9/11 America. From Swift to Shakespeare, the literary antecedents for Locus Amœnus are wide and varied, but the novel that emerges is wholly original and haunting in its graphic depiction of contemporary American mores and failures. I can’t recommend Victoria N. Alexander’s new novel enough.”
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!!)
Let me say off the top that I like Amazon.com. Even as a huge corporate entity, they provide a fairly even playing ground for small literary fiction presses. They are even more democratic in this regard than many independent bookstores. But today I have some criticisms to make regarding their practices of posting “Editorial Reviews.” These are the unsigned reviews that appear at the top of the review section and that are the most visible. Amazon has an agreement with Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal to post their reviews in this section. Publishers cannot opt to replace these reviews with others from equally respectable review publications. Amazon claims they are under contract to post reviews and do not have a choice in the matter. Continue reading
If you think they’re just a piece of meat for you to ogle, you’re doing it wrong. “Trixie” follows one stripper as she faces her life and author Victoria N. Alexander hopes to teach readers a little something about life and where it’s going, and why some women go down paths others may feel degrading. With plenty of food for thought, “Trixie” is a fine pick and will entertain as it enlightens and is highly recommended. See more reviews
In her new novel, Trixie, Victoria N. Alexander (Naked Singularity, 2003, etc.) looks at strip clubs and the women who work in them. A pale waif with dark hair, Trixie is a stripper at the Girlie Playhouse. The narrator Pixie is also a dancer who works with Trixie and whose stripper-mother was killed. Set up as a Daisy Miller-like figure, Trixie meets equally tragic results. And thus the novel becomes Pixie’s retelling of how Trixie gets involved with Max, and of how she meets her untimely death, with Continue reading
I’m the editor at an online literary fiction review called Dactyl Review. We receive a lot of emails asking for some general pointers for writing reviews. Most requests have come from conscientious readers who want to post their first review on Amazon.com, GoodReads or LibraryThing. As a supporter of literature, I liked to help the reviewing world do a good job, on Dactyl Review and elsewhere. So here’s some guidance that (I hope) will help you write the kind of review that will be useful to readers and writers alike, no matter what you think of the book. Continue reading
In response to a reader who asked me to compare my novel, Trixie, to Diablo Cody’s Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, I looked it up. This is what I found.
There is a long tradition of confessional “novels” about stripping by Harvard grads, clever journalists, med students, and, as Cody calls herself, otherwise “unlikely strippers.” In addition to these confessional, somewhat fictionalized memoirs–for they cannot be called novels–there is also a slew of scholarly works on the topic (for example Stripped: Inside the Lives of Exotic Dancers by Bernadette Barton), also undertaken by bright, clever, and adventurous women who probably didn’t mind the “research” work. Apparently, Cody’s smart-girl type is more likely to try stripping than she wants us to think. Continue reading
“Male violence did it.” Martin Amis has a bit of a reputation for making sweeping, declarative statements like this one that ends the first paragraph of Yellow Dog. I’ve read all of Amis’ books except Pregnant Window and Koba the Dread (on my list, next) and I’m very familiar with the Amis conception of gender. I can make sweeping generalizations about his Men and his Women. Continue reading