Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. With collages by Clelia Scala. From the multi-award-winning poet and scholar Steve McCaffery comes ALICE IN PLUNDERLAND, a reimagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice books that will forever change the way readers negotiate Wonderland and its menagerie of characters. Written as part of a larger project called Chiasmus, in which McCaffery will "queer the classics," Plunderland's Alice and all her cohorts become infused with characteristics related to the notion of "plunder"—theft, drug addiction, looting, and civil disorder. Instilled with humour, intelligence, and more than a little bit of absurdity, this retelling of Alice's adventures takes place somewhere other than expected. In the rough-and- tumble world of Plunderland, where theft, drugs, and gangs hold sway, and nary a tea party is to be found, the Cheshire Cat is a junkie from the UK; the King and Queen reign over the land of Cocaine; even Alice's adventures are transformed in her quest for a fix.
"Literature for McCaffery... is not an act of imaginative creation but a procedure, a machine for estranging us from our own language—estranging and thereby recuperating... [Panopticon] is ultimately a profoundly optimistic work, a leap of faith that chooses to revel in the opacity of language... A hypnotizing work."—Full Stop
It's been 150 years since Alice first entered Wonderland in Lewis Carroll's beloved classic book. My, how times have changed Now, from the multi-award-winning poet and scholar Steve McCaffery comes Alice in Plunderland,
a reimagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice books that will forever change the way readers negotiate Wonderland and its menagerie of characters.
McCaffery is your tour guide to Plunderland, a rough-and-tumble world where theft, drugs, and gangs hold sway, and nary a tea party is to be found. Meet the Cheshire Cat (a junkie from the UK), and just try to keep your head on as the King and Queen reign over the land of Cocaine. Yes, in this remarkable land of drug addiction, looting, and civil disobedience, even Alice's adventures are transformed in her quest for a fix.
Clelia Scala's translated collages beautifully annotate McCaffery's renewed vision of Wonderland. Just as McCaffery has plundered Carroll's original text, Scala uses John Tenniel's iconic artwork to create a new look for the world of Alice's Plunderland.
Fans of McCaffery's work will find plenty of poetic marvel to sink their teeth into. In this, his first foray into prose-parody, McCaffery's innovative poetics (in tandem with Scala's provoking images in full colour) transform this classic story according to McCaffery's theory of palindromic time by which the past is contemporized and the present historicized. Alice in Plunderland is sure to break open an exciting new initiative for fans of experimental writing and linguistics in the years to come.
About the Author
Author of around 40 books of poetry and criticism published variously in Canada, England, and the United States, McCaffery was a founding member of the sound poetry ensemble The Four Horsemen (with bpNichol of TRG / The Toronto Research Group), and a founding theorist of Language Poetry. He has published four titles with BookThug: ALICE IN PLUNDERLAND (2015), a revised second edition of PANOPTICON (2011), EVERY WAY OAKLY (2008) (homolinguistic translations of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons), as well as editing the first Canadian edition of Stein's book of that name, and THE BASHO VARIATIONS (2007). Other books include SLIGHTLY LEFT OF THINKING (Chax Press, 2008), two volumes of SEVEN PAGES MISSING: SELECTED UNGATHERED WORK (Coach House Books, 2001-02), and NORTH OF INTENTION: CRITICAL WRITINGS 1973-1986 (Roof Books, 2000). He is the two-time recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing, and was shortlisted twice for the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. He lives and teaches in Buffalo, NY, where he is the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University at Buffalo.