Tag Archives: organic farming

Introduction by Colin Harrington at The BookStore Lenox, Mass

thebookstoreIt’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

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Literary Fiction Book Review

LFBRLocus 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

Signing at Golden Notebook in Woodstock Sat, Aug 1st 6PM

goldennotebook Political satirist, Victoria N Alexander has a new novel entitled, Locus Amoenus, a literary term that refers to a beautiful pastoral paradise where nothing bad can ever happen.

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 three other novels, Smoking Hopes (Washington Prize for Fiction), Naked Singularity (Dallas Observer‘s “Best of 2003”), and Trixie, 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.

http://www.goldennotebook.com/event/victoria-n-alexander-locus-amoenus

 

Locus Amoenus in the Woodstock Times

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Alexander in a treehouse like the one that appears in her novel.

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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

Millerton News: Literary Tea to host local authors July 18

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Millerton News
July 16, 2015
By Gregory Camillone

The NorthEast-Millerton Library will host a Literary Tea on Saturday, July 18, at 1PM with authors Victoria Alexander and Kristen Panzer there to discuss their novels.

Alexander got the voice of Hamlet from David Tennant, who played Hamlet in the Royal Shakespeare Production. “He is like Doctor Who,” Alexander said. “Clever, witty, a little bit crazy. He’s like an alien. Hamlet feels like an alien coming from the city and having different values from the people around him.”

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“The Library Tea event is an opportunity for local writers to meet, talk and share their successes,” said Director of NorthEast-Millerton Library Rhiannon Leo-Jameson. “It’s a way for them to bond.”

Everyone is welcomed to attend. The event will be located in the library and is free. Tea will be served along with other refreshments and snacks. Continue reading

Main Street Magazine

On Saturday, July 18th I’ll be at the NorthEast-Millerton Library at 1PM. Pick up a copy of Locus Amoenus at Oblong Books to bring with you to have signed. Here’s a piece from the June issue of Main Street Magazine.

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MainStreet blank Continue reading

Middletown’s Book Bower to host dark-comedy author before fireworks

middletownPrior to the city’s grand fireworks show Friday night, author Victoria Alexander will visit the Book Bower nearby to sign copies of her novel, “Locus Amoenus.”

locus-amoenus-cover-thumbnailHer fifth novel, this speculative fiction brings Shakespeare into the post-9/11 world, weaving “an emotionally powerful geopolitical drama,” according to reviews online.

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