Out of the Blue
September 11 and the Novel
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Writers have represented 9/11 and its aftermath with varying degrees of success. In Out of the Blue, Kristiaan Versluys focuses on novels that move beyond patriotic clichés and cheap sensationalism and provide new insights into the emotional and ethical impact of these traumatic events& mdash;and what it means to depict them. Versluys focuses on Don DeLillo's Falling Man, Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World, and John Updike's Terrorist. He scrutinizes how these writers affirm the humanity of the disoriented individual, as opposed to the cocksure killer or politician, and retranslate hesitation, stuttering, or stammering into a precarious act of defiance. Versluys also discusses works by Ian McEwan, Anita Shreve, Martin Amis, and Michael Cunningham, arguing for the novel's distinct power in rendering the devastation of 9/11.