Writers take time to absorb September 11 impact

Wed Sep 7, 2011 1:33pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Norman Mailer once advised another author to wait 10 years before writing about the attacks of September 11 because "it will take that long for you to make sense of it."

The estimate by the prominent New York novelist and journalist, who died in 2007, may have been premature. As the world marks a decade since the attacks, literary circles are still waiting for a definitive work on the topic.

"The world has changed since 9/11 and our culture has changed but I haven't yet seen the book or the movie or the poem or the song that captures the people we are now and helps us redefine who we are in this new post 9/11 world," journalist Lawrence Wright told Reuters.

Wright wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning account entitled "The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11".

While publishers are bringing out a slew of new works, reruns of memoirs, survivor tales, Iraq war stories and fiction books tackling September 11 and its aftermath, writers are still making sense of an altered era.

Movies and television are often inspired by playwrights and novelists. But Broadway has yet to produce a significant play directly about September 11 and no novel dealing with the attacks has been a top bestseller or come to redefine a changed collective psyche.

Celebrated names such as John Updike, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan and Don DeLillo have all produced fiction stories. Many have written from either the militant's perspective or painted the post-September 11 era with a broad apocalyptic brush.

KISS OF DEATH   Continued...

<p>A woman takes a picture in a bookstore in this file photo. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante</p>