Tag Archives: weapons industry

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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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

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

No Lies Radio: Locus Amoenus, a retelling of Hamlet, featuring a NIST bureaucrat as Claudius

freefallvna9/11 Free Fall Radio
July 16, 2015

http://noliesradio.org/archives/101478
Interview starts at 9:55. Here’s a snippet:

AS: “What do you want people to get from this book?”

VNA: “Well, in the passage I just read where Hamlet [a conspiracy theorist] makes his big revelation. He makes some very logical points and asks some very good questions. But what’s the response to that? Evasion. Nobody really takes the point [chuckle]. Nobody really gets what he’s getting at. The whole thing is kind of ineffective, really [chuckle].

“One of the things I wanted to do for people, who have tried to talk to friends about some evidence they’ve read, is to give them a story that they can relate to. We’ve all gone through this. We all know what it’s like to bring up this conversation at dinner and have very good our friends treat us very coldly.

“And I wanted to give the conspiracy theorist a place in literature. He is a very important character, as was [Shakespeare’s] Hamlet, for really defining who the modern man is. Continue reading

Likely Stories Book Review on KWBU “Heart of Texas Public Radio”

kwbuVictoria N. Alexander has constructed a clever and engaging novel loosely based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Hamlet.  This dark comedy revolves around the tragedy of 9/11.  Alexander has several novels to her credit, as well as a work of non-fiction, The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature, & Nature.  She is also working on a comedy screenplay about a high security dystopia.

kwub-picHamlet’s father has apparently died in the collapse of the twin towers, and Hamlet and his mother Gertrude move to a rural village, Amenia where the residents are suspicious of strangers.  The town suffers from an epidemic of obesity, because of a local connection to big agriculture farms producing only high fructose corn syrup.  When Gertrude tries to sway the school board to a healthier diet for the students, she and Hamlet are isolated from the rest of the town.  Hamlet’s former science teacher shows up and convinces Hamlet his father was killed on 9/11 as a result of a conspiracy to justify the Iraq War.  Claudius, who has just married Gertrude, is an engineer, who worked on part of the official report of the events of 9/11. Continue reading

Book Signing in Middletown, CT July 3, 5PM

bookbowerMain Street Market,  386 Main St.
Middletown, CT  860.704.8222  www.bookbower.com

Victoria N Alexander will be signing copies of Locus Amoenus at the Book Bower on Friday in the midst of the Middletown Fireworks Festival, which will take place 4-10PM, near the main street market.  Come out to express your inner patriot and pick up copy of Alexander’s scathing satire on runaway American consumerism and political corruption.

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In this dark comedy, a 9/11 widow, Gertrude, and her son, Hamlet, move from Brooklyn to the pastoral countryside to start a sustainable farm. Unfortunately, they don’t really get along all that well with the outrageously obese locals, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture. Hamlet has just turned 18, and he’s beginning to suspect that something is rotten in the United States of America: health, happiness and freedom are traded for Walmart, endless war, Zoloft, and environmental degradation. He becomes very depressed when, on the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, Gertrude marries, a horrid, boring bureaucrat named Claudius, who works for NIST. Then, Hamlet learns from Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, that Claudius is a fraud. The tricks, spying, corruption, and uncertainty end, as Shakespeare’s play does, in tragedy

 

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