February 8, 2024

Dept. of English Presents Reading and Book Signing with Asst. Professor of English JacquelinE AlnesThe Fruit Cure

The Fruit Cure: The Story of Extreme Wellness Turned Sour

Tuesday, February 20, at 6 p.m.

West Chester University’s Department of English will host a reading and book signing of The Fruit Cure: The Story of Extreme Wellness Turned Sour, written by WCU Assistant Professor of English Jacqueline Alnes. The event takes place on Tuesday, February 20, at 6 p.m. in the Philips Autograph Library, Philips Memorial Building, 700 S. High Street, West Chester. The event is FREE and open to the public.

Hailed as “lucid and elegant” by The Washington Post, The Fruit Cure is Alnes’s first book. It offers a powerful critique of the failures of our healthcare system, and an inquiry into the dark world of wellness culture schemes, scams, and diets masquerading as hope.

The Fruit CureAlnes was a Division One runner in college. Her freshman year was cut short by a series of unexplained neurological symptoms. What started with a cough escalated and Alnes collapsed on the track and experienced months of memory lapses that stole her ability to walk and speak.

Two years after quitting the team to heal, Alnes’s symptoms returned with a severity that left her using a wheelchair for months. She was admitted to an epilepsy center, but doctors could not figure out the root cause of her symptoms. Desperate for answers, she turned to an online community centered around a strict, all-fruit diet which its adherents claimed could cure conditions like depression, eating disorders, addiction, anxiety, and vision problems.

“I wasn’t alone,” says Alnes. “From all over the world, people in pain, doubted or dismissed by medical authorities, or seeking a miracle diet that would relieve them of white, Western expectations placed on their figures, turned to fruit in hopes of releasing themselves from perceived failings in their bodies.”

In The Fruit Cure, Alnes takes readers on a spellbinding and unforgettable journey through the world of “fruitarianism.”

Alnes’s essays have been published in The New York Times, Longreads, Guernica, Women’s Running, and more. She has interviewed writers including Abdulrazak Gurnah, Melissa Broder, Hala Alyan, David Diop, Lidia Yuknavitch, and more for Electric Literature.



WCU Associate Professor of English Christine Irving: Rabbit Heart

Tuesday, March 26, at 6 p.m.

Philips Autograph Library


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