Nor has imbibing the acidic smog of Beijing, a city she called “home” for the better part of a decade, caused tooth loss. Attribute this blessing to the fact that she is not a mouth breather. Don’t ask about her sinuses.
Maya worried that she cracked a tooth in Botswana, once, when she bit into an insufficiently ripe guava. But she didn’t.
Maya fell asleep one night in Louisiana and dreamed that Death came to her and put his boney finger in her mouth, and she bit it off, whereupon she awoke with a ghastly “crunch” resounding in her ears, and ran to the bathroom fearing broken teeth. But it was just a dream.
Maya fell off the stage during a gig in Beijing, while performing a cover of the Jet song, “Are you gonna be my girl?,” and she bruised her lower back. No teeth were injured in the fiasco.
Maya’s current projects include flossing, seeing reality as it is and accepting it, and appreciating how lucky she is in the context of human existence since the end of the last ice age 11,000 years ago.
“Beget,” The Jewish Literary Journal (Issue 83, May 2020)
“The Hug,” The Forge (Feb. 3, 2020)
“On the Origin of Frankenstein’s Monster’s Penis,” Fabula Argentea (Issue 29, Jan. 2020)
“Jean & Echo,” The Magnolia Review (Vol. 5, Issue 2, July 2019)
“Screwed by Turns,” Coe Review (Vol. 49, Issue 2, Spring 2019)
“The Jewel,” Narrateur: Reflections on Caring (Vol. 8, May 2019)
“4p16.3,” The Forge (Oct. 1, 2018)
“Ghost Limbs,” Narrateur: Reflections on Caring (Issue 7, 2018)
“To the Depths,” The Missing Slate (Nov. 3, 2017)
“Filial Piety, or This Be the Story,” Scarlet Leaf Review (Aug. 19, 2017)
“Ann Noni Mini,” Dime Show Review (Jul. 10, 2017)
—Print: Dime Show Review, Vol. 2, Issue 3 (Dec. 2017)
“Tourist in Hades,” Loud Zoo (Issue 9, Apr. 2017)
—Video: Maya performs “Tourist in Hades” at Amplified Cactus ii
“The Sudd,” Thrice (Issue 19, Apr. 2017)
—Video: Maya performs “The Sudd” at Amplified Cactus i
“The Body and the Virus,” Gone Lawn (Issue 24, Apr. 2017)
—Video: Maya performs “The Body and the Virus” at Amplified Cactus v
“… Mad, or Well Advised?…,” Cacti Fur (Mar. 13, 2017)
“Come Cautiously,” Boston Accent Lit (Issue 7, Feb. 2017)
“Getting Therapy in Beijing Is a Production,” Adelaide (Year II, No. 6, Mar. 2017)
—Print: Adelaide, Vol. 6, No. 6 (Mar. 2017)
“Caravan” and “The Full Circle,” The Light Ekphrastic (Issue 29, Feb. 2017)
“Orfea wrestles Death,” Fabula Argentea (Issue 18, Jan. 2017)
“Champions of Pleasure,” The Stockholm Review of Literature (Issue 15, Nov. 2016)
Maya is thrilled about the publication of her short story collection, The Plague Cycle. Set in an epidemic quarantine camp in an imaginary landscape resembling South Sudan during an Ebola outbreak, the linked short stories of The Plague Cycle conjure the miracles and tragedies of human experience in the midst of illness and death, but also healing. Order The Plague Cycle online at Amazon or Spuyten Duyvil Publishing.
“Implicitly and without fanfare, these beautifully constructed stories—profound, humane, dark, and yet illuminated by love and belief in humanity—bring us into the heart of the global catastrophes facing our species and our planet today.”
—Amy Wilentz, author of Martyrs’ Crossing and I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen
“I was both transfixed and transported by The Plague Cycle. Maya Alexandri’s writing is so brutal, so particular, so beautiful, and so true that it is difficult to believe this is a work of fiction.”
—Michael Kimball, author of Big Ray and Us
“The linked stories in this excellent collection—Maya Alexandri’s first—exist half way between timeless fable and the tensely poetic Hemingway of In Our Time. They are both dreamlike and unflinching. Drawn from the author’s personal experience and rendered with an artist’s attention to surreal detail, The Plague Cycle never fails to fascinate.”
—Robert Girardi, author of Gorgeous East and The Wrong Doyle
“This is the kind of meaningful fiction that lingers with you long after the first time you read it.”
—Timmy Reed, author of Kill Me Now, IRL, and Miraculous Fauna
“The haunting, moving stories in The Plague Cycle are like modern day fairy tales. Alexandri’s prose lights up the reader’s imagination, illuminating a vivid landscape you will never forget.”
—Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Trouble with Lexie and The Wonderbread Summer
“In The Plague Cycle, Maya Alexandri gives us fully realized characters whose breathtaking resilience could be the subject of medical study. The people in these gorgeous stories do something that is at once Herculean and uniquely human—they generate questions … even when life seems to give them nothing but answers.”
—Kathy Flann, author of Get a Grip
“The Elderly and COVID-19: On the Frontlines of a Pandemic,” Lit Hub (June 5, 2020)
“Compassion and Care: Being an EMT During the Pandemic,” Lit Hub (May 13, 2020)
“A Night on the Frontlines During a Pandemic,” Lit Hub (Apr. 28, 2020)
“Craft, Chaos, & Enlightenment: Madison Smartt Bell’s New Novel,” BmoreArt (May 10, 2017)
“The Muscle Memory of Landis Expands,” BmoreArt (Apr. 15, 2017)
Maya’s novel, The Celebration Husband, is out and about in the beautiful world. Be kind to the environment and buy it print-on-demand at Lulu . . . and then clear your reading decks for this head-turning, finger-snapping, mind-elevating, laughter-provoking, historically-inspired, action-adventure, anthropological-romance of a page turner! Aristocratic lady runs intelligence missions for the British irregular forces fighting the Germans in East Africa during World War I: sexy, elegant, dangerous, irresistible, adjective, adjective, adjective—you’ll love it!
Read this wonderful review of The Celebration Husband in Rabid Readers!
Special feature!!!! From the blog archives, Maya’s contemporaneous accounts of researching The Celebration Husband document her adventure behind the adventure story, presented here for the exclusive thrill and enjoyment of you, oh wise, discerning, cultured, brilliant, and selective reader:
Off-road, unmapped and out of her mind
An OBE for James Willson
“Pole pole”: the Tao of Mount Kilimanjaro
Getting bugged by the writer’s life
The East African Novel
A voice of her own
Denys Finch-Hatton, the not-great aristocrat
Ready for the shovel
Of wisdom and imperial ambivalence
Check back for more Maya events soon!
Past AMAZING events: Maya was one of the organizers of, and performers in, the Amplified Cactus Art + Literary series 2016-2017. A six-part series, Amplified Cactus brought together musicians, visual artists, literary artists, and dancers to present and perform work that they created in response to questions that were inspired by the amplified cactus.
For those of you untutored in the deeply, profoundly experimental music scene, an amplified cactus is a cactus with a microphone, a musical instrument (rub its needles, hear it sing) for which John Cage wrote music (notably, “Child of Tree” from 1975). The amplified cactus is a symbol for all of us: needles and mics!
The questions raised by the amplified cactus and addressed during Amplified Cactus were:
Can I defend myself without hurting others?
Is brutality good for me?
Can I thrive in a pathological environment?
Why am I attracted to stimulation that destabilizes me?
Can I be in balance with my ecosystem and not be lonely?
If I love myself, does fame matter?
Maya wrote a collection of six, linked short stories called, The Plague Cycle, in the course of the Amplified Cactus series. The stories unfold in an epidemic quarantine camp located in an imaginary landscape with resemblance to South Sudan, during an Ebola virus outbreak. Maya performed each of the stories from memory, like monologues or epic poems. Videos of her performances can be seen in the Short Stories section of this website. The stories can be read in the journals Thrice, Loud Zoo, Gone Lawn, Dime Show Review and The Missing Slate.
The Amplified Cactus series was made possible with the tremendous support of Vicky Schassler and Spirits of Mount Vernon in Baltimore, Maryland. The series attracted contributions from brilliant talents, including painter Nathanael Absher, writer Rafael Alvarez, violinist Nicholas Bentz, painter Scott Brooks, painter Landis Expandis, visual artist and designer Katie Feild, visual artist Sean Hennessy, poet Slangston Hughes, photographer Mike Maguire, poet and book artist Jenny O’Grady, opera singer Aaron Thacker, writer Kate Wyer, poet Stephen Zerance, among many others.
An item about Maya’s EMT volunteer work: “In Harm’s Way,” interview with The New York Times.
Author Interview with Maya Alexandri, by Sommer Shafer, The Forge Literary Magazine.
Book TV host extraordinaire, Eileen MacDougall, interviews Maya about The Plague Cycle in episode 63 of WCTV’s show, “Book Stew”! (Also as a podcast!!)
Author Interview with Maya Alexandri, by John Haggerty, The Forge.
“Q&A with Maya Alexandri,” interview on Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb.
More about Maya’s work: A terrific profile in BmoreArt of the Amplified Cactus interdisciplinary art series, of which Maya was one of the co-organizers!
Plus, Maya in print! “AN EVENING WITH MAYA: Maya Alexandri – The Author of THE CELEBRATION HUSBAND,” interview in Adelaide literary magazine.
The fabulous Eileen MacDougall interviews Maya about The Celebration Husband in episode 36 of WCTV’s show, “Book Stew”! (Also as a podcast!!)
For personal enquiries, Maya Alexandri can be reached at maya.alexandri @ gmail.com.
For professional enquiries (excepting world rights for The Celebration Husband), please contact:
Madison Smartt Bell
Ayesha Pande Literary
128 West 132 Street
New York City, NY 10027
For world rights enquiries in connection with The Celebration Husband, please contact:
Wampe de Veer
Blackbird Literary Agency
Pieter de Hooghlaan 27
3741 RL Baarn, The Netherlands
b.lit.agency @ gmail.com