Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Alyssa Brugman's "Alex as Well"

Alyssa Brugman was born in Rathmines, Lake Macquarie, Australia in May 1974. She attended five public schools before completing a Marketing Degree at the University of Newcastle. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD in Communication from Canberra University.

Brugman has worked as an after-school tutor for Aboriginal children. She taught management, accounting and marketing at a business college, worked for a home improvements company and then worked in Public Relations before becoming a full-time writer. She currently runs a small business providing hoofcare, equine rehabilitation and producing nutritional supplements for horses.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Alex as Well:
This book is about gender, and the idea that gender is a spectrum rather than a dichotomy. In the book there is a male Alex and female Alex, who are the same character, but reflect the dilemma that Alex faces in having to choose one gender over the other. I’d be interested in whether a director would want to have them played by different actors or the same one.

In my head, when I was writing the book, Alex looked like the Australian model Cooper Thompson, who is breathtakingly beautiful. Someone like that, I imagine, who has everything that we consider aesthetically pleasing in both genders, because that was one of the themes I wanted to explore. The fashion industry and modelling often value those traits that make a woman more masculine – height, athleticism, and those that make a male more feminine – hairlessness, glowing skin, full lips, and yet as a society there is still a stigma around gender boundaries. The casting choice would need to reflect that idea.
Visit Alyssa Brugman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue