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Noelle Q. de Jesus: a woman of her word

by Tegan Mazur - Copy Editor
Mon, Apr 24th 2017 09:00 pm
Emma Misiaszek/ PHOTO EDITOR

Noelle Q. de Jesus signs an attendee's book during her visit to The College at Brockport to give personal anecdotes and offer her audience an in depth understanding of who she is as an author as well as what her writing process is like and experiences she has had.
Emma Misiaszek/ PHOTO EDITOR Noelle Q. de Jesus signs an attendee's book during her visit to The College at Brockport to give personal anecdotes and offer her audience an in depth understanding of who she is as an author as well as what her writing process is like and experiences she has had.

The Writers Forum is a place for people to gather and converse. Noelle Q. de Jesus is an author who exemplifies a master of words. She simply bursts with them at all times.

De Jesus visited The College at Brockport on Wednesday, April 19, in the New York Room of Cooper Hall for a reading at the Writers Forum event. De Jesus was born in the United States and then moved to Manila, the Philippines where she grew up and then spent a good chunk of her life in an island city-state in Singapore. De Jesus had always wanted to be an author, but that goal was deterred when "life happened." After raising her two children she says she realized it was time for her to write a book when she saw many of her counterparts had already been published.

During the talk with the Writer's Craft class, de Jesus was extremely friendly. Of all the writers to visit previously, she was certainly the one who earned the most laughs. She was genuinely talkative and prone to getting off topic before realizing she had and setting herself back on track, only to repeat the cycle. 

However, the Writer's Craft class was not disturbed by this at all and the mood seemed to be one of vested interest in everything she had to say. It was hard not to. Being a writer, her speech was just as crafted to captivate as is her writing. 

One student asked about her habit of writing about couples who are in romantic trouble.

De Jesus talked for several minutes about her interest in this, finding other subjects about relationships boring. Certainly her book, "Blood", which was a mandated read for students in Writer's Craft, was filled with such stories about couples who do not have happy endings or other complex relationships that aren't romantic, such as mother and daughter, grandfather and grandson and so on. De Jesus also explained that she loved the editing process of writing. 

"Revision, it's the best part of writing ... The hardest thing about writing, is writing," de Jesus said.

After de Jesus was done speaking with the Writer's Craft class she moved to the reading portion of the evening to which all students and faculty are invited. Before the reading began, Brockport professor Anne Panning gave a warm introduction to de Jesus, whom she has known since graduate school, where they were enrolled in the same program but in different years. 

Panning talked about de Jesus' work, stating, "I remember reading her work for the first time and being struck by fascination and admiration."

The reading was once again less of actual reading and more of de Jesus failing to digress. However, the added audience seemed just as interested in what she had to say. De Jesus talked about many things one wouldn't get just by reading her work. One of her longer personal anecdotes between readings was of her experience as an author in Singapore and the "crab mentality" that she experienced, a sort of dog-eat-dog equivalent amongst her contemporaries. Though her tendency to trail off on an anecdote was commonplace for the night, there was never a shortage of fascinating information that came from them. It was exactly what an author's visit should entail. 

Stories that de Jesus read from her book were just as captivating as her real life ones. Like some of the previous authors to visit like Mary Gaitskill and Rigoberto Gonzalez, de Jesus was not afraid to explore deep emotional issues such as one story taling about a character's first menstrual cycle, another's first time having sex and one in which a chef feeds his wife so much of his cooking she becomes overweight and he divorces her because of it. Her writing is a candidness of curiosity in the darker more awkward annals of human nature that was reflected in the way she told her personal stories as well. 

It was a truly enlightening and unique experience to see the pieces of this writer that translate from her personality and way of thinking to the page.

teganh83@gmail.com

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