Tag Archives: Intelligence Industry

It takes a hamlet. Amenia, NY.

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Book promotion at Amenia Free Library

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.

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William Irwin Thompson on Locus Amoenus in WRR

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Victoria Alexander’s Honest Look at American Culture

In much the same way that James Joyce used Homer’s Odyssey to create a classical stage set for the characters of Ulysses in the dear dirty Dublin in 1904, V. N. Alexander’s new novel uses Shakespeare’s Hamlet as an archetypal structure that casts a shadow over the stereotypes of our new American life of junk food, junk politics, and NSA/Homeland Security.

Like the tight narrative and focused attention of Thomas Pynchon’s shortest novel, The Crying of Lot 49Locus Amoenus uses hilarity and conspiracy theories to present the tragicomedy of a contemporary America that is beyond belief. Alexander has a good ear for prose rhythms, and the uplifting wave of her prose style picks you up and carries you all the way to her Coda—a coda that reminds us as her story becomes framed in journalistic reporting that American History is a dumpster and not an Akashic Record backing up karmic justice. From Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase that made Manifest Destiny and the American Empire inevitable to Jackson’s Cherokee Trail of Tears to Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus to FDR’s Day of Deceit with Pearl Harbor to Wolfowitz’s and the Neocons’ call for a new Pearl Harbor that became 9/11 to Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act and Arctic Drilling for the oil companies, the United States has always been bad while believing itself to be good.

Alexander is truly humorous in a bittersweet way that never becomes nihilistic. Everyone notices European Evil, whether it is the case of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror or Hitler’s Holocaust, but no one noticed when Obama shredded the Constitution of Madison and Jay in the National Defense Authorization Act, and no one noticed when the One Percent bought out the country in a hostile takeover brokered by Goldman Sachs.

Locus Amoenus is an important contribution to contemporary American fiction, and perhaps it is time now for Alexander to move up from the small arty presses to the major publishing houses in Manhattan. (Farrar Strauss take note.) But, on the other hand, since the large publishing companies now are all owned by the giant corporate conglomerates who produce our junk food for the mind, we should celebrate the contribution of The Permanent Press of Sag Harbor for being, like the Farmers Market in Union Square and the Berkshares local currency of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a healthy alternative to airport fiction.

http://www.wildriverreview.co/lit/bookreview-victoria-alexander/

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Locus Amoenus signing at the Millbrook Literary Festival

locus-amoenus-revised-cover-webOn May 30th, I’ll be participating in the best little literary festival in the Harlem Valley. The Festival will feature over fifty thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining authors and illustrators from the region participating in panel discussions, readings, and signings throughout the day, from 9:45 – 4:30 at the Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street in Millbrook New York.

I will be signing copies of and answering questions about my latest novel, Locus Amoenus (Permanent Press, 192 pages). The story of  is set in Amenia, which is right next door to Millbrook.  I anticipate lots of locals at my table trying to find out if they appear in the story.  No spoilers!

Here’s a brief 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, Zoloft, 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.

For details see the festival website millbrookbookfestival.org.

 

Charles Holdefer, author of The Contractor, on Locus Amoenus

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.

David Koepsell, author of Reboot World, on Locus Amoenus

“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.”

Order Locus Amœnus direct from the publisher, The Permanent Press, or from Amazon today for a  10% discount.

Oona Frawley, author of Flight, on Locus Amoenus

“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.”

Order from Permanent or from Amazon.

 

Josip Novakovich, author of Shopping for a Better Country, on Locus Amoenus

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.