“All of the characters in the collection are recognizably human, striving to be more than human; what a refreshing contrast to the de rigueur solipsism of contemporary fiction’s urban dwellers!”

–Review of Contemporary Fiction


“Shakar is an author unafraid to take risks, and when this is combined with genuine talent, the result can be breathtaking.”

–American Book Review


“Shakar writes a city whose ground is the transactive imagination. This is a remarkable first book.”

–Kathy Acker


“Alex Shakar’s prose meets the severest demands of twentieth-century modernism, there is an authority in his voice that is quite astonishing. He makes fiction new for his generation and, as Joyce did in his time, his work challenges future generations to live up to the standard he has set. No doubt about it–his is an original talent, the rare sweetness of unheard melodies springs from his imagination. Reading his stories, what thrills me beyond the pleasure of his magical metamorphosis of contemporary reality is that so young a writer should so seriously be creating a language charged with what Nabakov called ‘the aesthetic vibrancy of authentic literature.”

–Zulfikar Ghose, author of A New History of Torments


“Shakar has created some truly dynamic and powerful stories–stories that ring with all the psychic resonance one expects of myth. City in Love is a grand feat of imagination.”

–Darius James, author of Negrophobia

It is the year 1 B.C. and New York City is a place to behold: vast, dangerous, seductive, and strange. It is a place where a museum guard inscribes a secret message into the streets of Manhattan; a troubled Queens schoolgirl becomes a powerful superhero; and an Alphabet City sculptor constructs his ideal woman from 88 rubber bands, a tattered umbrella, and the bones of a fish. In Shakar’s re-imagining of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the street odysseys of these and other characters amount to passionate struggles for belonging and survival in the city which nurtures, alienates, and mystifies them all.