The 9/11 Novel
Chapter 5, on literature, includes detailed discussion of Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Frederic Beigbeder's Windows on the World. It offers substantial supporting discussion of Reynolds Price's The Good Priest's Son, Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, James Kelman's You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free, and Ian McEwan's Saturday. The chapter offers a detailed definition, and discussion, of the “early 9/11 novel”, exploring the generic politics and aesthetic effects of the first flush of novel-length writing about the 9/11 attacks. While the 9/11 novel gestures toward a series of alarming ideas, including the corrosion of western/American modernity, the chapter suggests that novelists' early responses to 9/11 were generally contained, or defused, by their reluctance to venture beyond domestic settings and a concern with “the self”.
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