Alden Bell lives in New York with his wife, an Edgar-award-winning novelist.
For the past nine years he has taught high school English at an Upper East Side prep school.
Since 2002, he has also taught literature and cultural studies courses as an adjunct professor at the New School. He graduated from Berkeley with a degree in English and a minor in creative writing. In 2000, he received his Master’s and Ph.D. in English at New York University, specializing in twentieth-century American and British literature.
"I think the cultural fascination of post-apocalyptic literature has a lot to do, interestingly enough, with a longing for freedom and potential. Even though these stories are filled with landscapes of barren despair, nonetheless there’s always a subtext of starting over with a fresh slate. The stories are always much more about building than falling apart: so you get movies like Dawn of the Dead, which is a kind of wish-fulfilment fantasy of being the only person in a massive shopping mall. I think that to a lot of people beset by a world in which they feel oppressed, commonplace or simply unnoticed, the idea of being a survivor of apocalypse gives them the hope of self-reinvention. As a reader of such stories, you begin to imagine all the things you could do in that vast emptiness. That’s why I spend so much time on Temple’s appreciation of the beauty of the devastated world around her: I think she understands better than most the silver lining of the apocalypse."
Alden Bell on why people love a post-apocalyptic setting
Alden Bell lives in New York and has, for the past ten years, taught high school English there. He graduated from Berkeley with a degree in English and a minor in creative writing and, in 2000, received his Master’s and Ph.D. in English from New York University (specialising in twentieth-ce [...]