They say a picture is worth a thousand words. One author is bringing this saying to life.
Xhenet Aliu, who recently published her novel “Brass” will be coming to Reece Museum Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. to read from and talk about her work.
Aliu, who along with being a novelist works as an academic librarian and writing instructor, is teaming up with Tema Stauffer to tell the story of a city called Hudson through two different artistic disciplines.
Alui’s work is featured in the beginning of Stauffer’s book, which explains the story that the books tells.
“I wrote the introductory essay,” Aliu said. “The book consists of photographs of a city in upstate New York called Hudson on the Hudson River. It began as a shipping city and became an industrial city. Her photographs focus on the parts of Hudson that haven’t been revitalized.”
Aliu will also be discussing her novel that has recently been published, which tells the story of two people encountering trials and tribulations in changing area.
“I’ll be reading from my novel which came out this past year,” Aliu said. “The novel at its heart is a mother daughter story, but it focuses on two generations of women in a struggling city that was once a home to a thriving brass industry. These women are struggling to find their paths after that industry is over.”
Aliu’s novel touches on many subjects that seem to be very prevalent in today’s issues and conversations.
“It deals a lot with class issues, gender issues and immigration issues,” she said.
Aliu explains she met Stauffer through a well-known author named Charles Baxter, who was originally going to write the introductory essay for Stauffer’s book. Baxter thought the two would be a good match based on the kind of work they had done in the past.
“He thought that we had explored similar themes in our work,” said Alui. “She’s exploring these places and these people who tend to get overlooked. This is something I also explore in my own work. I was blown away by her photographs and was excited to work with her.”
Aliu is hopeful that many people in the community attend the event along with students from ETSU.
“It is open to everyone,” said Aliu. “I hope that there a lot of students there, but I also hope that there will be people from outside of the university who attend. Hopefully the arts community in Johnson City will come out.”
Because Aliu and Stauffer have collaborated and are bringing two forms of expression together, Aliu believes this is very important when educating yourself about issues and people around you.
“We tend to compartmentalize these different disciplines, like photography and writing that get discussed on a college campus,” Aliu said. “I think the goal of a holistic education is to see all of these things as working in tandem with each other to tell a whole story. Hopefully people will want to see photographs and also hear a story and explore how they work together.”
For more information about the event, visit https://www.etsu.edu/cas/litlang/documents/xhenet.pdf or go to xhenetaliu.com