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A new app puts the spotlight on works of nonfiction

English-language writers have long had a passion for nonfiction books and telling current events in a literary manner. One of the precursors of this genre was none other than Truman Capote with his novel “In Cold Blood,” for which he spent several years investigating the murder of four members of the same family in Kansas. Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, William Finnegan and Emmanuel Carrère have since followed suit.

J.M. Ledgard, Xiaolu Guo, Carlo Rovelli, Chigozie Obioma and Jonathan Freedland are now doing the same on Alexander. This new application, imagined by producer Cameron Lamb, includes nonfiction works written in English by international authors and journalists.

Its aim is to give bookworms access to “unique places, cultures and fascinating characters.” For instance in “Killing in the Year of the Pig,” novelist Guo revisits her childhood in China at a time when two murderous brothers were making headlines. In “When the Risen Dust Settles,” Chigozie Obioma focuses on the history of a Nigerian university headed by a charismatic Catholic priest.

These works are available on Alexander in the form of a written text, as well as an audio performance and a short video. The app offers immersive formats featuring acclaimed actors and filmmakers such as Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, David Tennant and Emma Corrin.

The application also offers a feature that allows users to navigate between formats without losing the plotline. “I wanted to create something different. To bring together three familiar mediums, entwined, working cohesively together, to deliver an immersive world,” said Lamb.

A new nonfiction story is published on Alexander every other week, along with its audio version and a short film. The application currently offers a free trial period of two weeks followed by a $3.99 monthly fee ($39.99 a year). RGA


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