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Alexander Maksik

© Martina Bacigalupo

Alexander Maksik

Alexander Maksik is the author of the novels You Deserve Nothing (Europa, 2011) and A Marker to Measure Drift (Knopf, 2013), which was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, as well as a finalist for both the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and Le Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger.

All Alexander Maksik's books

Upcoming events

"Rivetingly plotted and beautifully written."—The New York Times (Read) Writing on B&N Reviews, Susan Salter Reynolds described Alexander Maksik's You Deserve Nothing thus: "Reminiscent...
Alexander Maksik is visiting bookstores and festivals around the country this fall to discuss his new novel, SHELTER IN PLACE!
San Francisco, CA
October 5, 07:00pm
Alexander Maksik reads from his new novel SHELTER IN PLACE at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco on October 5th
New York, NY
October 13, 07:00pm
Alexander Maksik will be reading at KGB Bar as part of the Behind the Book Series

Latest reviews

  • "It's a story that's harrowing and heartfelt all at once...a captivating story that will stick with you well beyond the final pages."
    — Booktrib, Sep 13 2016
  • "Maksik’s voice is distinctive and vivid, giving us a portrait of a life that is honest, visceral, truly extraordinary."
    — Departures, Sep 12 2016
  • "Shelter in Place feels to me like an even more accomplished novel: a book to shake your sense of self, by a writer doing exactly as he pleases."
    — Electric Literature, Sep 12 2016
  • "Shelter in Place is as unquestionably brilliant as it is painful; a rare meditation on mania, depression, and the rage of youth that so often dissipates with the approach of middle age."
    — The Huffington Post, Sep 9 2016
  • "There’s something truly exhilarating about reading a novel that’s so audaciously original, so inventive and let’s be honest, so sort of weird that you want to put it in the hands of just about everyone you know." Read the full review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
    — San Francisco Chronicle, Sep 8 2016
  • Print review in Vanity Fair, September 2016
    — Vanity Fair, Aug 10 2016
  • “Sometimes a novel’s first sentence is so memorable that it comes to stand for the story itself...Such is the startling opening line of Alexander Maksik’s third novel.”
    — Shelf Awareness, Aug 9 2016
  • "Maksik [delivers] a portrait of bipolar disorder…that is honest and devastating."
    — Publishers Weekly, Jul 26 2016
  • "Alexander Maksik’s riveting and disturbing novel Shelter in Place (Europa)...is a totally original exploration of mental illness, sexual politics, family and violence..."
    — The Guardian, Jul 10 2016
  • "On every page we’re reminded of the paradox of how mysterious, thorny, and delicate family relationships can be."
    — Kirkus Reviews, Jun 22 2016
  • "The novel I'm most excited about..."
    — The Nation, Jun 6 2016
  • Take the 1989 film Dead Poets Society and add the Police song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”. Throw in a load of Lolita and The Stranger. Season with a dash of Sartre and the biblical book of Job. Mix thoroughly with almost equal parts of teen angst, youthful optimism and...
    — Aug 4 2014
  • Natalie Bakopoulos: First things first: How did you come to be a writer, and who were some of your greatest influences? Alexander Maksik: The simplest response is to say that I wanted to write more than I wanted to do anything else, which is the truth. But why that’s...
    — Jun 26 2014
  • All lazy book reviews are essentially the same: they reflect a reviewer’s inability, or perhaps refusal, to fully engage with the writer’s project on the book’s own terms. Lazier still is to not discuss the book but instead the author, to review not the project, to paraphrase...
    — Nov 26 2013
  • I skipped over this book several times after reading the flap, but finally decided to give it a try. It turned out to be a really enjoyable read. The premise of the story is fairly straight forward: a popular high school teacher enters into a relationship with a student...
    — Sep 13 2012
  • You Deserve Nothing Review by Adrian Turpin Alexander Maksik’s debut has the inevitability of Greek tragedy William Silver is a 33-year-old English teacher at an American high school in Paris. We know the type. Think Robin Williams in Dead Poets’...
    — Nov 18 2011
  • Existentialism is popularly mistaken for a kind of weary pessimism, a peculiarly French habit of puffing a cigarette and waving the world away. Alexander Maksik knows better. He uses his debut novel, You Deserve Nothing, both to re-introduce the original meaning...
    — Nov 17 2011
  • Alexander Maksik's  You Deserve Nothing  is a book about fame -- which is to say, it's a book about a young male English teacher at a small private high school. William Silver is a rock star at ISF, a school for international students in Paris. A female teacher...
    — Nov 14 2011
  • You Deserve Nothing – Alexander Maksik 03 November 2011 | Scott Beauchamp [Europa Editions; 2011] The plot of Alexander Maksik’s You Deserve Nothing is familiar: star literature teacher (It’s always literature or music) moves students,...
    — Nov 3 2011
  • You Deserve Nothing Alexander Maksik Europa Editions, August 2011 336 pages $15.00 Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: a handsome young teacher inspires great passion in the classroom; the guys want to be him, and the girls want to be with him. There’s...
    — Nov 1 2011

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