110 Stories

New York Writes after September 11

344 pages

August, 2004

ISBN: 9780814799352

$25

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Author

Ulrich Baer is Vice Provost of Globalization and Multiculturalism at New York University.
 

All books by Ulrich Baer

New York is a city of writers. And when the city was attacked on 9/11, its writers began to do what writers do, they began to look and feel and think and write, began to struggle to process an event unimaginable before, and even after, it happened. The work of journalists appeared immediately, in news reports, commentaries, and personal essays. But no single collection has yet recorded how New York writers of fiction, poetry, and dramatic prose have responded to 9/11.

Now, in 110 Stories, Ulrich Baer has gathered a multi-hued range of voices that convey, with vivid immediacy and heightened imagination, the shock and loss suffered in September. From a stunning lineup of 110 renowned and emerging writers—including Paul Auster, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Edwidge Danticat, Vivian Gornick, Phillip Lopate, Dennis Nurkse, Melvin Bukiet, Susan Wheeler—these stories give readers not so much an analysis of what happened as the very shape and texture of a city in crisis, what it felt like to be here, the external and internal damage that the city and its inhabitants absorbed in the space and the aftermath of a few unforgettable hours. As A.M. Homes says in one of the book's eyewitness accounts, "There is no place to put this experience, no folder in the mental hard drive that says, 'catastrophe.' It is not something that you want to remember, not something that you want to forget." This collection testifies to the power of poetry and storytelling to preserve and give meaning to what seems overwhelming. It showcases the literary imagination in its capacity to gauge the impact of 9/11 on how we view the world.

Just as the stories of the World Trade towers were filled with people from all walks of life, the stories collected here reflect New York's true diversity, its boundless complexity and polyglot energy, its regenerative imagination, and its spirit of solidarity and endurance.

The editor’s proceeds will be donated to charity. Cover art donated by Art Spiegelman.

List of Contributors: Humera Afridi, Ammiel Alcalay, Elena Alexander, Meena Alexander, Jeffery Renard Allen, Roberta Allen, Jonathan Ames, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Auster, Jennifer Belle, Jenifer Berman, Charles Bernstein, Star Black, Breyten Breytenbach, Melvin Jules Bukiet, Peter Carey, Lawrence Chua, Ira Cohen, Imraan Coovadia, Edwidge Danticat, Alice Elliot, Eric Darton, Lydia Davis, Samuel R. Delany, Maggie Dubris, Rinde Eckert, Janice Eidus, Masood Farivar, Carolyn Ferrell, Richard Foreman, Deborah Garrison, Amitav Ghosh, James Gibbons, Carol Gilligan, Thea Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Tim Griffin, Lev Grossman, John Guare, Sean Gullette, Jessica Hagedorn, Kimiko Hahn, Nathalie Handal, Carey Harrison, Joshua Henkin, Tony Hiss, David Hollander, A.M. Homes, Richard Howard, Laird Hunt, Siri Hustvedt, John Keene, John Kelly, Wayne Koestenbaum, Richard Kostelanetz, Guy Lesser, Jonathan Lethem, Jocelyn Lieu, Tan Lin, Sam Lipsyte, Phillip Lopate, Karen Malpede, Charles McNulty, Pablo Medina, Ellen Miller, Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky, Mark Jay, Tova Mirvis, Albert Mobilio, Alex Molot, Mary Morris, Tracie Morris, Anna Moschovakis, Richard Eoin Nash, Josip Novakovich, Dennis Nurkse, Geoffrey O'Brien, Larry O'Connor, Robert Polito, Nelly Reifler, Rose-Myriam Réjouis, Roxana Robinson, Avital Ronell, Daniel Asa Rose, Joe Salvatore, Grace Schulman, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Dani Shapiro, Akhil Sharma, Suzan Sherman, Jenefer Shute, Hal Sirowitz, Pamela Sneed, Chris Spain, Art Spiegelman, Catharine R. Stimpson, Liz Swados, Lynne Tillman, Mike Topp, David Trinidad, Val Vinokurov, Chuck Wachtel, Mac Wellman, Owen West, Rachel Wetzsteon, Susan Wheeler, Peter Wortsman, John Yau, Christopher Yu.

Reviews

  • "A smart idea...[drawing from] the incredible talent pool of New York City writers to consecrate the attack on the World Trade Center."

    Kirkus Reviews

  • "A decent 9/11 novel may be far off, but the best first passes at essays, fiction, and poetry are finally in one place."

    New York Metro.Com

  • "The best of these pieces by novelists and poets write about it the way that all great writing happens—they come at it sideways, or with complete indirection, sometimes in metaphor, and write about love, selfishness, lust, dieting, the lives of the rain, and in one case, from the perspective of a rat in the sewer below the towers."

    Clean Sheets

  • "The result is this excellent collection of fiction, nonfiction and poetry written in reaction to the tragedy by a stellar list of contributors."

    The Kansas City Star

  • "Ulrich Baer has gathered a multi-hued range of voices that convey, with vivid immediacy and heightened imagination, the shock and loss suffered in September."

    The Harvard Bookstore

  • "110 Stories, with an arresting cover image by Art Speigelman, presents a fractured view of last year's events...What we're left with is the way the tragedy fits into individual lives, the impression it makes on impressionable, expressive people."

    Newsday

  • "The works collected here capture both the diversity of the people of New York and how surreal the catastrophe felt for those close to Ground Zero. A touching and memorable collection."

    —Carlos Orellana, Booklist, September, 2002

  • "The wide range of writing styles and viewpoints, as well as Art Spiegelman's striking cover art, make this anthology a popular read."

    Library Journal

  • "Short-short stories and poems by New York writers are the collection's raison d'Etre, but personal testimony creeps in as well. The best entries approach the subject most obliquely or humorously—Jonathan Ames's Nabokovian 'Womb Shelter,' David Hollander's moving 'The Price of Light and Air,' Nathalie Handal's lovely 'The Lives of Rain,' Lev Grossman's hilarious 'Pitching September 11,' among many others...Overall, this collection proves the transformative power of art."
     

    Publisher's Weekly