In Alex Shakar’s essay for The Millions, “The Year of Wonders,” he talks about his experiences ten years ago surrounding his first novel, The Savage Girl, which got him a huge advance and respect from important figures in the publishing world. Then everything fell apart in a mess of spectacularly bad timing when the memorial service for his editor and friend Robert Jones fell on the day before September 11, 2001, a week before the long-anticipated release of Shakar’s book. Suddenly his story’s once timely ideas on consumerism and a post-ironic society were deemed irrelevant. The essay has been garnering attention all over; so far, it’s been mentioned in The New York Observer, The Awl, The Rumpus, and the Bookforum “Daily Review.”
Now Shakar’s back with a new novel entitled Luminarium, set to debut this August from Soho Press. Kirkus Reviews praised his latest work: “Virtual and “real” reality intertwine in unpredictable ways in this ingenious novel; to his credit, Shakar’s approach is more philosophical than sci-fi…Shakar succeeds in a delicate balancing act here, securing the novel simultaneously (and paradoxically) in real, virtual and supernatural worlds.” It sounds like this time Shakar might finally get the success and acclaim that his writing deserves.