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Naked Singularity

A novel by

Kirkus Reviews
A far cry from the hot-hostess high-jinks of Smoking Hopes (1996), Alexander's first novel, this is a painfully personal tale of Daddy's Little Girl come home to Texas to agonize over whether she should help him die quietly, thereby avoiding his gruesome end from throat cancer. Hali may be diminutive, but she's no lightweight, being a PhD in teleology and a major babe besides. When she arrives on the scene from New York, however, where her "open" relationship with an artist on the cusp of fame has hit a rough patch, she's already aware that she may have to fulfill a tough special role for the family. At first, there's hope, as Dad reads optimism in his doctor's evasions and the punishing therapy seems to be having its desired effect. Father and daughter discover a renewed appreciation for each other's cosmological interests and similar philosophies. But not many months pass before a different scenario emerges: last-chance surgery is ruled out as the cancer spreads to his spinal column and Hali is at Dad's bedside when he speaks privately to her of helping him out. Eventually, she agrees, and with the help of a muscle-bound drifter in nurse's garb she becomes the family Kevorkian - except that Dad won't die no matter how many drug cocktails they give him, and Hali and the nurse feel increasingly the tugs of a fatal attraction.

The emotions are raw at times, but there's a cool tone of postmodern post-mortem throughout as well, raising hackles and sympathy from first to last.

Publisher's Weekly
Alexander (Smoking Hopes) takes on a gut-wrenching topic in this ambitious but uneven second novel, which tells the story of a Texas woman who returns home to care for her dying father and faces a profound dilemma when he asks her to help him commit suicide. Hali is helping her father, Dave, in his battle against throat cancer, a fight that seems winnable when his chemotherapy works and the cancer goes into remission. But Dave's respite proves brief, and when the cancer begins to advance again, Hali knows the request her father will soon make. At first, the plan seems simple: Hali and Thomas, one of the two nurses who provide round-the-clock home care, will administer a lethal but painless mix of morphine, alcohol and other painkillers. But the first hit of morphine fails due to Dave's tremendous resistance to the drug, the other nurse begins to suspect euthanasia, and their plans go dangerously awry. Alexander writes eloquently about the family's daily emotional pain, but the flashbacks describing Dave's alcoholism and violent treatment of his children are overfamiliar. The major flaw here is the lurid, macabre ending, which involves the attraction between Thomas and Hali, a climax that seems barely believable given Alexander's portrayal of Hali's satisfying marriage to Seth, a sensitive artist who, like Hali's two older sisters, remains an undeveloped character. This unsatisfying conclusion overshadows the book's strengths. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Used availability for Victoria N Alexander's Naked Singularity

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Hardback Editions

December 2002 : USA Hardback
Title: Naked Singularity
Author(s): Victoria N Alexander
ISBN: 1-57962-078-7 / 978-1-57962-078-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Permanent Press (NY)
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

March 2003 : USA Paperback
Title: Naked Singularity
Author(s): Victoria N Alexander, Tori Alexander
ISBN: 1-57962-105-8 / 978-1-57962-105-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Permanent Press (NY)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

May 2015 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: Naked Singularity
Author(s): Victoria N Alexander
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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