Monday, February 27, 2017

The novel of social satire is alive and well, and funny. . .

This review written by "Jack Of Most Trades" disappeared from America's Amazon site, but is still visible at the one in France.

"Way beneath the top one percent lurk the fast food workers, the home attendants, the custodial staff, and this underclass (the working poor) has been the subject of a plethora of sociological studies and case studies. But how about so-called "educated" members of that class. That's where Alex Kudera’s novel Auggie’s Revenge fills the void. It is a witty, satiric story about one hapless adjunct who joins forces with three other members of mainstream society’s fringe in an attempt to exact revenge on their downtrodden status. Vittinger joins up with Auggie, who waxes ineloquent about pick-up techniques, a small-time hood named Johnny November, and a young, but savvy student of Vittinger’s, Melody.

"But among the four, it is Vittinger who is doubly screwed by society: not simply financially but in terms of values. Vittinger, a philosophy adjunct, reflects on the value of knowing about Heidegger and Kant in a corporate-run universe, and his conclusion is that there pretty much is no value. If you think a well-executed mix of Kafka’s Amerika, Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, and Robert Reich could result in a socially relevant, comic, and propitious novel, you’re right. Kudera’s language as channeled by Vittinger expertly slides between the discourse of academia and the slang of the street like the glissandos of a master violinist. This is refreshing satire. . ."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

where and when did i write Auggie, and what does it cost right now?

I wrote Auggie's Revenge over twelve years, from winter 2004-2005 to spring 2016, and completed writing for it variously in Philadelphia, PA; Clemson, SC; Xi'an, China; and Oakwood, Ohio. It wasn't easy for me to write this novel, and writing it in four places probably makes my life seem exciting or at least vaguely interesting in ways it may not be. I will say that in the off-the-tourist-track neighborhood I live in when I visit Xi'an, China, I'm the only one of European ancestry I've ever seen, but on this last visit a McDonald's that had stood partially complete for more than a year finally sprouted. I was still the only one of the European diaspora, but the new McDonald's had a few lines of poetry by Mary Oliver on the interior walls. I know buying from Amazon isn't best for publishing, bookstores, or writers, but the book is only $8.79 direct from Bezos, so if you'd like to purchase an affordable copy, you have my appreciation for doing so. Of course, anywhere books are sold is always fine by me. It won't disappoint unless it does.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

#AWP17, #CEA48

I won't be attending the AWP conference beginning February 8 in Washington, D.C., but I will be a guest speaker at the College English Association's 48th conference in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina from March 30 to April 1, 2017.

For the Coffee on the Commons "breakfast event for contingent faculty and all those with an interest in this vital component of the academy," I'll be speaking about adjunct teaching and writing fiction about adjuncts. I look forward to seeing you there!