Color portrait of Alexandra Kleeman from the waist up and wearing a black dress, with her body facing forward and her head turned to her left

Alexandra Kleeman

John Guare Writer’s Fund Rome Prize, a gift of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman
gennaio 11–agosto 6, 2021
Profession
Assistant Professor, Department of Writing, The New School
Project title
The Taxon Cycle: A Novel
Project description

The Taxon Cycle is a quasi-utopian novel, written in five parts, about the rise and fall of money. Each part is set on a different island and in a different time period: from an Oceanic monarchy ruptured by the arrival of European explorers, to a hermetically sealed luxury bunker in a waterlogged near-future metropolis, to a Nordic community that has inadvertently reverted to subsistence farming and barter, each section explores a distinct site at which the utility and valuation of money is in flux, and could be uprooted: Kaua’i, Japan, Manhattan, and the Faroe Islands, as well as a futuristic space colony off-planet. The novel considers the island as a site where nature sets into motion “evolutionary experiments” and asks what other types of relationships between life and necessity could exist in the absence of capitalism. By exploring such transitional moments, I hope to give a sense of the horizons of our monetary systems, and to gesture toward other shapes our economies could take.