“White Girls” Author, Hilton Als, Reads at Fordham


Hilton Als, acclaimed author of The Women and White Girls and staff writer and theater critic for The New Yorker, shares pieces of his work with members of the Fordham community. (Photograph by Jess Luszczyk/The Observer)


On Monday, March 30 at 6 p.m., a staged reading of the book “White Girls” was held in Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) Cafeteria Atrium. Hilton Als, theater critic for The New Yorker, read two essays from his acclaimed book. The event was co-sponsored by the departments of English, Communications and Media Studies and Theater.

During the event, Als recounted that one particular “white girl” that inspired his book was a woman who “struck him as a survivor, and could be mistaken to be rude … she had no filters, no way of reigning in who she was.” After the introduction on this woman from his life, Als read the entirety of his essay on another woman who influenced him: silent film star Louise Brooks.

Following this essay, Als read to the large crowd of students and faculty members one other essay from his book; this one was more personal, as it directly alluded to the eponymous “white girl” he talked about in his introduction to the readings.

Shonni Enelow, assistant professor of English, introduced the event by reading a summary of “White Girls.” “In ‘White Girls,’ Als explores the meaning of identity … reading it gives me vertigo, as truth feels turned upside down,” she said.

Copies of “White Girls” were on sale at the event as well, and many students remained behind to have Als sign a personal copy.