A new app puts the spotlight on works of non-fiction

·2-min read
The Alexander application gives subscribers access to non fiction works written by J.M. Ledgard, Xiaolu Guo, Carlo Rovelli, Chigozie Obioma and Jonathan Freedland.

These hybrid works, between journalistic investigation and literary narrative, often bring a different perspective on current events and the Alexander application wants more people to enjoy them by allowing readers to discover them in various formats ranging from text to audio as well as video.

English-language writers have long had a passion for non-fiction 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 non-fiction 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 Xiaolu 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 plot line. "I wanted to create something different. To bring together three familiar mediums, entwined, working cohesively together, to deliver an immersive world," said Cameron Lamb.

A new non-fiction 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).