Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Anniversary; 9/11 books

Unbelievably, it's already the seventh anniversary of 9/11. It some ways it doesn't seem that long, yet on the other hand so much shit has gone down politically, militarily, etc. that it does seem that long.

I recently read a great book called Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 by Damon DiMarco. DiMarco recorded these oral histories within a year after the attacks (in this edition he even followed up with some of the interviewees five years later to see how they were coping). He interviewed survivors, relatives, rescue workers, and those involved in getting everything up and running again, like Verizon workers who were vital in getting Wall Street reopened.

Another non-fiction book is the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. This is a must read for anyone interested in the rise of modern terrorism, and the chances we missed in preventing 9/11 from happening. 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer is another must read, a gripping account of what happened between the time the first tower was struck, and the secong one fell. Then of course, there is the 9/11 Commission Report, even available as a graphic adaptation.

There are hundreds of non-fictions books on the subject, but how much good fiction has been written? Maybe the true stories are compelling enough, and we still need to hear them before we want to read fiction.

The most notable fiction are Don DeLillo's Falling Man, Ken Kalfus' A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Have I missed any? Let me know.

I'd like to share with you my own little contribution to 9/11 fiction. It's called nineleven.

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