Authors Archives: Elizabeth Faucett

Out of the Blue: September 11 & the Novel

Versluys, Kristiaan. Out of the Blue: September 11 and the Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Three months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Don DeLillo wrote in an essay titled, “In the Ruins of the Future”: “The writer wants to understand what this day has done to us. Is it too soon? We seem pressed for time, all of us. Time is scarcer now. There is a sense of compression, plans made hurriedly, time forced and distorted…The writer begins in the towers, trying to imagine the moment, desperately.”[1] DeLillo asks, as many have and continue to do in the time since that awful day, whether it is possible for literature to reconstruct what happened, to provide a medium for making meaning, and thus move beyond the traumatic. Kristiaan Versluys, in his critical examination of “9/11 fiction,” argues that while the great September 11 novel has not been written and maybe never will, there have been genuine attempts made to “affirm and counteract the impact of trauma” (13).

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