Author Alex DiFrancesco began this semester’s Visiting Writers Series on October 8 with a reading, question & answer session and book signing.
DiFrancesco, eco-writer and transgender-activist, read from their novel All City. Published this year, the novel is set in a near-future New York City where both global warming and a tremendous economic divide are making the city unlivable for many. When a huge superstorm hits, it leaves behind only those who had nowhere else to go and no way to get out.
“Alex DiFrancesco’s new book is set in the near future, but some may find it a bit too near for comfort. After New York City is devastated by climate change, gentrification and capitalism and then engulfed by a superstorm, several survivors, including genderqueer anarchist Jesse and convenience store worker Makayla, try to make their way in this new reality – which could be our own sooner than we realize if we don’t hear this warning,” Ms. Magazine wrote in its review.
“Part of the reason I wrote All City was to get a trans, non-binary character represented correctly in speculative fiction,” DiFrancesco said. “There is a lot of horrible trans representation out there, and it’s damaging.”
A writer of fiction, creative nonfiction and journalism, DiFrancesco’s collection of essays Psychopomps was also published this year. Their work has also appeared in Tin House, The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Carolina Quarterly, Brooklyn, the New Ohio Review and others.
DiFrancesco, who graduated from a community college in Pennsylvania and is currently a graduate student in Ohio, encouraged Brookdale students to write and share their own stories. “We have a responsibility, as writers, to tell our stories truthfully and to tell them the way they should be told,” said DiFrancesco.
“Loving the work is the most important thing,” was the advice DiFrancesco gave to aspiring writers. “The thing about writing is that every day you can sit down and do work that you love and work that you care about, and that is the most important thing to me.”
The Dr. Carl Calendar Visiting Writers Series continues on November 6 with award-winning poets Seema Reza and Blythe Baird and on December 12 with award-winning journalist Roger Rosenblatt. For more information about the upcoming events, please visit www.brookdalecc.edu/vws.