Tag Archives: controlled demolition

“All right then, I’ll go to hell.” -Huck Finn

Jim_and_ghost_huck_finnNext month, I will be talking to a group of anti-war activists about the role of literary fiction in undermining the bad narratives that prevent critical thinking. I look to my favorite political satirist, Mark Twain, as an example.

When Huck Finn ponders whether or not he should turn in his friend Jim, a runaway slave, he is deeply conflicted. Good Christian society of the day has taught him that slavery is sanctioned by God. Huck truly believes that to help Jim escape would be immoral. But he decides, “All right then, I’ll go to hell.”

It’s moments like this in literature that serve humankind best in its often-halting progress toward tolerance and peace. Throughout history, good, decent people routinely condone revenge, segregation, greed, fascism and war, simply because they follow those they admire most. Every era has its own peculiar blindness, and going against complacency and conformity of neighbors can be more difficult than directly confronting a tyrant. It is often a disenfranchised voice, such as Huck’s, that awakens the literature of a nation, makes it more self-critical. Sometimes the voice needs an author—a humorist, a poet, or a good story-teller—to help him speak in a way that he can’t be ignored or further ostracized. Continue reading

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Book Signing at Brave New Books in Austin, TX, Friday Nov 27, 7PM

BraveNewBooksFlyerReviewers are calling Locus Amoenus, “one of the funniest political satires of our time,” the 2015 novel that “everyone needs to read,” and ” a great book you will want to share with your friends.” 

Victoria N. Alexander will be signing copies of Locus Amoenus at Brave New Books in Austin on Nov 27th, Black Friday, 7PM.

Brave New Books  is “an amazing community of diverse and active people. We have politicos and anarchists, lefties and conservatives, but most importantly we are a bunch of curious people on a quest for the truth.”

1904 Guadalupe Street Suite B Austin, Texas 78705
512-480-2503  12-9pm Daily

Locus Amoenus synopsis: In this dark comedy, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, have retreated from Brooklyn to the idyllic rural countryside upstate, where for nearly eight years they have run a sustainable farm. Unfortunately their outrageously obese neighbors, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture, shun their elitist ways (recycling, eating healthy, reading). Hamlet, who is 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. He becomes very depressed when, on the very day of the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, his mother marries a horrid, boring bureaucrat named Claudius. Things get even more depressing for Hamlet when his friend Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, claims Claudius is a fraud. The deceptions, spying, corruption, will ultimately lead, as in Shakespeare’s play, to tragedy. Continue reading

Locus Amoenus on Shift Frequency

shiftfrequencyVictoria N. Alexander’s new dark comic novel, Locus Amoenus, is the story of a 9/11 widow who moves with her son, Hamlet, to the countryside to start a sustainable farm. But when Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, marries a NIST bureaucrat named Claudius on the eight anniversary of 9/11, Hamlet becomes very depressed. Then Hamlet’s old science teacher, Horatio, arrives to tell Hamlet that Claudius, who worked on the investigation of the WTC towers, is a fraud: NIST never actually investigated how the towers came down and never tested for explosives. But there is more: young Hamlet had collected a dust sample at ground zero, which he had given to Horatio. Unknown to Hamlet, Horatio has sent the sample to scientists who have found evidence of incendiary material in the dust. Now Hamlet and Horatio have to figure out what to do. Is Claudius guilty of covering up murder or terrorism? or is he just a pawn?

Alexander’s novel re-imagines Shakespeare’s play to launch a scathing satire of post-9/11 political corruption generally, local and federal; something is rotten in the United States of America. From big ag to standardized curriculum, economic disparity, big pharma, intelligence contractors, and endless wars, no issue is left unexamined in this fast-paced, witty and tragically humorous novel. Continue reading

Locus Amoenus is now in the Reader’s Circle Book Club

readerscircleAttention book club members. Reader’s Circle is a great new book club site with listings for local groups, author events, and author phone chats.  Connect your book club with your favorite author.

http://www.readerscircle.org/

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Harlem Valley News on Locus Amoenus

HVM Harlem Valley News May 11, 2015 Local author, Victoria N. Alexander has a new novel coming out on June 12th called Locus Amoenus—set in Amenia and the Harlem Valley region Amenia, NY. The hero of Victoria N. Alexander’s novel Locus Amoenus may be the new Holden Caulfield for the post-9/11 generation, according to Kirkus Reviews. In Alexander’s witty but dark political satire, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, move to beautiful Amenia in upstate New York where they run a sustainable farm—but Hamlet becomes depressed when, on the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, his mother remarries a boring bureaucrat named Claudius. Then Hamlet learns from Horatio, conspiracy theorist, that Claudius is a fraud and something is rotten in the United States of America. With extraordinary gallows humor, Alexander looks at the tragedy that is contemporary politics, as it plays out in any town America where health, happiness and freedom have been traded for cheap Walmart goods, Paxil, environmental degradation, and endless war. Continue reading