Alexander M Shakar

19962015
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Personal profile

Creative/Performing Interests

Novels, short stories, nonfiction

Personal profile

In Alex Shakar's latest novel, Luminarium, Fred Brounian enters a mind-expanding scientific study about inducing spiritual experiences, falls hard for his experimenter, and starts receiving mysterious emails and other messages from his comatose twin brother.  Called "an intricately structured, imaginative, epistemological, and wildly eventful tale of illusion and longing" by the Chicago Tribune, Luminarium won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction. It was also named an Editor's Choice by The New York Times, a Notable Book of the year by The Washington Post, and a best book of the year by several periodicals.

In his first novel, The Savage Girl, down and out artist Ursula van Urden moves to the American volcano metropolis of Middle City and learns the arcane secrets of trendspotting as she cares for her younger sister Ivy, a fashion model turned schizophrenic. The Savage Girl was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and has been widely translated.  His short story collection, City in Love, tracks the street odysseys of a museum guard, a junk sculptor, an actor, and others.  It was the winner of the FC2 National Fiction Competition.  

His short fiction has recently appeared in Ploughshares and his nonfiction, short essays and reviews have appeared in The MillionsThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.  In recent years, he has been grateful to have received artist residencies from the Blue Mountain Center, Ragdale, Santa Maddalena, UCross, and Yaddo.

Research Interests

Creative Writing

Education

  • Yale (B.A. in Literature cum laude)
  • University of Texas at Austin (M.A. in English/CW w/Michener fellowships)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Ph.D. in English/CW)

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  • 2 Similar Profiles
Flesh Arts & Humanities
Non-fiction Arts & Humanities
Novel Arts & Humanities
Short Story Arts & Humanities

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Research Output 1996 2015

In the Flesh, We Shone

Shakar, A. M., Jun 1 2015, In : Ploughshares. 41, 2, p. 123-135 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Flesh

Luminarium

Shakar, A. M., Aug 2011, New York: Soho Press. 432 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Savage Girl

Shakar, A. M., Sep 17 2002, New York: Harper Perennial. 288 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

City in Love: The New York Metamorphoses

Shakar, A. M., 1996, Normal, IL: FC2. 164 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Press/Media

Novelist's 'Luminarium' lighting up the literary atmosphere

Alexander M Shakar

8/22/11

1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Honors & Recognition