Recommend some 9/11 literature
September 18, 2007 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend some 9/11 literature.

I'm teaching a lit class soon and would like to incorporate some short stories/poems about 9/11. Please help me with a reading list! I'll be using them in a module I am teaching on mythology/lore and how modern mythologies are created.
posted by archimago to Education (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Photograph from September 11
by Wislawa Szymborska

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 8:38 AM on September 18, 2007

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus
posted by fallenposters at 8:41 AM on September 18, 2007

In the Shadow of No Towers is Art Spiegelman's attempt to capture the experience in the idiom of comic strips, as well as relate his own version of the event. The book itself is a strange creation and virtually is a poem about 9/11.
posted by hermitosis at 8:41 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Perhaps not the type of "literature" you're looking for, but the victim's profiles in the New York Times for weeks/months after 9/11 were some of the most profoundly moving pieces of writing I remember.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:43 AM on September 18, 2007

Seconding "In the shadow of No Towers".
posted by notsnot at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2007

"The Suffering Channel" (story) or "The View from Mrs. Thompson's" (essay) by David Foster Wallace.
posted by mattbucher at 8:47 AM on September 18, 2007

110 Stories by John M. Ford.
posted by Jeanne at 8:48 AM on September 18, 2007

I came in here to reccomend "In the Shadow of no Towers" as well. I interviewed Spiegelman about it on my show (link in profile), and he was wonderful. He has a very interesting take on the whole thing.

Don Dellilo also recently released a novel dealing with the subject.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:59 AM on September 18, 2007

Ani Difranco - Self-Evident (Though, I admit, I'm not sure how it would contribute specifically to a modern myth discussion, but IANALit Instructor, either.)

It is available as spoken word on the album "So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter" or in the recent collection of her poetry Verses.
posted by wg at 9:09 AM on September 18, 2007

The first story in "Twilight of the Superheroes," by Deborah Eisenberg, is a short story about 9/11 and NYC post-9/11. It's fantastic.

Also, I just finished reading "102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers,"
by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. A very interesting account of the story from inside the buildings.
posted by elquien at 9:16 AM on September 18, 2007

Not exactly a short story, and not only about 9/11, but Don DeLillo's Falling Man is a quick, wonderful read.
posted by dead_ at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2007

And I myself wasn't left standing on a sunny, bombed-out street holding his picture.
you might want to read them this... short story? essay? by Richard Ford, it's by far the best thing I've ever read about 9/11

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

it's neither a short story nor a poem. it's also a terrible novel. please don't use that.
posted by matteo at 10:28 AM on September 18, 2007

Sorry matteo, I'm gonna have to second Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Safron-Foer. I thought it was great.
posted by doppleradar at 11:12 AM on September 18, 2007

How about Amiri Baraka's Somebody Blew Up America? It's controversial, yeah, and of debatable merit according to some, but to me it's an excellent example of a) a reaction to 9/11 and b) the concept of the "modern mythology."
posted by veronica sawyer at 12:50 PM on September 18, 2007

"When they learned to yelp" by Dave Eggers is amazing. It's inside his collection titled "How We Are Hungry"
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:04 PM on September 18, 2007

For that matter, "What it Means When a Crowd in a Faraway Nation Takes a Soldier Representing Your Own Nation, Shoots Him, Drags Him from His Vehicle and Then Mutilates Him in the Dust," is probably relevant as well, if not exactly about 9/11.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:05 PM on September 18, 2007

With Their Eyes : September 11th -- The View from a High School at Ground Zero

"New York City's Stuyvesant High School stands within sight of the World Trade Center, and on September 11, 2001, it quickly became the concern of many Americans and world citizens. As a window into this school's experiences surrounding that tragic day, a group of creative acting students from Stuyvesant have assembled this stunning collection of monologues -- originally performed on stage, now in print form -- to unite the memories and emotions of its students and employees."
posted by blaneyphoto at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2007

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