Cover image for 110 stories : New York writes after September 11
110 stories : New York writes after September 11
Baer, Ulrich.
Publication Information:
New York : New York University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 333 pages ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS549.N5 O13 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Ulrich Baer is Associate Professor of German literature at New York University.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

One hundred ten writers and artists (one for each story of the World Trade Center) contributed short fiction and poetry to this unique commemorative collection. Edwidge Danticat's moving poem compares 9/11 to a second Day of the Dead, one without time for preparation. Film director Darren Arnofsky recalls a memorable first kiss in a WTC elevator with a beautiful foreigner, and experimental musician Paul D. Miller finds inspiration in the cultural patchwork of the poor population of Sao Paulo, where their music comes from the blending of native rhythms and American hip-hop. In Maus writer-artist Art Speigelman's sobering contribution, he remembers the origin of his powerful black-on-black New Yorker cover, feeling that a search for an image of the aftermath helped him focus and fend off trauma. 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

Publisher's Weekly Review

Edited by Ulrich Baer, and drawing on the enormous resources of New York's literary community, 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11 is a surprisingly supple commemoration of disaster. 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. More predictable are the "where-I-was-and-what-I-thought" pieces (often by the better-known writers). Overall, this collection proves the transformative power of art. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

9/11 The barbaric attack on the World Trade Center last September 11 not only altered the New York City skyline but also left a gaping hole in the city's collective consciousness. Edited by NYU literature professor Baer (Remnants of Song; Spectral Evidence), this unique collection of 110 short stories, poems, and brief prose pieces is intended to explore the healing possibilities of language and to document the attempts of some of the most celebrated writers and poets, both American and from abroad, to fill the void. Paul Auster, Amitav Ghosh, Vivian Gornick, Carey Harrison, Richard Kostelanetz, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and David Trinidad are among the authors featured. Some stories, like Phillip Lopate's "Altering the World We Thought Would Outlast Us" and Peter Carey's "Union Square," deal directly with September 11 and its aftermath; others record more personal encounters with grief and loss, like Lydia Davis's "Grammar Questions," a moving meditation on her dying father. The wide range of writing styles and viewpoints, as well as Art Spiegelman's striking cover art, should make this anthology a popular read this fall. Recommended for all libraries. [Baer is an LJ reviewer.-Ed.]-William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Ulrich BaerHumera AfridiAmmiel AlcalayElena AlexanderMeena AlexanderJeffery Renard AllenRoberta AllenJonathan AmesDarren AronofskyPaul AusterJennifer BelleJenifer BermanCharles BernsteinStar BlackBreyten BreytenbachMelvin Jules BukietPeter CareyLawrence ChuaIra CohenImraan CoovadiaEdwidge DanticatAlice Elliot DarkEric DartonLydia DavisSamuel R. DelanyMaggie DubrisRinde EckertJanice EidusMasood FarivarCarolyn FerrellRichard ForemanDeborah GarrisonAmitav GhoshJames GibbonsCarol GilliganThea GoodmanVivian GornickTim GriffinLev GrossmanJohn GuareSean GulletteJessica HagedornKimiko HahnNathalie HandalCarey HarrisonJoshua HenkinTony HissDavid HollanderA.M. HomesRichard HowardLaird HuntSiri HustvedtJohn KeeneJohn KellyWayne KoestenbaumRichard KostelanetzGuy LesserJonathan LethemJocelyn LieuTan LinSam LipsytePhillip LopateKaren MalpedeCharles McnultyPablo MedinaEllen MillerPaul D. Miller and Dj SpookyMark Jay MirskyTova MirvisAlbert MobilioAlex MolotMary MorrisTracie MorrisAnna MoschovakisRichard Eoin NashJosip NovakovichDennis NurkseGeoffrey O'BrienLarry O'ConnorRobert PolitoNelly ReiflerRose-Myriam RejouisApril ReynoldsRoxana RobinsonAvital RonellDaniel Asa RoseJoe SalvatoreGrace SchulmanLynne Sharon SchwartzDani ShapiroAkhil SharmaSuzan ShermanJenefer ShuteHal SirowitzPamela SneedChris SpainArt SpiegelmanCatharine R. StimpsonLiz SwadosLynne TillmanMike ToppDavid TrinidadVal VinokurovChuck WachtelMac WellmanOwen WestRachel WetzsteonSusan WheelerPeter WortsmanJohn YauChristopher Yu
Acknowledgmentsp. x
Introductionp. 1
1 Circumferencep. 10
2 Night of unityp. 13
3 Circump. 19
4 Aftermath; Invisible Cityp. 21
5 It Shall Be Againp. 23
6 The Sky Was So Bluep. 26
7 Womb Shelterp. 28
8 A First Kissp. 32
9 Random Notes--September 11, 2001, 4:00 P.M.; Undergroundp. 34
10 Gelato Is Gelatop. 37
11 Prologue: The Book of Johnp. 40
12 Report from Liberty Streetp. 42
13 Perfect Weatherp. 47
14 New York, 12 September 2001p. 49
15 From Manhattan Rhapsodyp. 51
16 Union Squarep. 54
17 The Quick and the Poorp. 57
18 Holy Smokep. 60
19 The Same Tunep. 62
20 On the day of the deadp. 64
21 Senselessp. 65
22 The Thermp. 68
23 Grammar Questionsp. 72
24 Echoesp. 75
25 The Ruinp. 78
26 Shorebirds Atlanticp. 80
27 Baby Lustp. 86
28 Man on the PATHp. 89
29 "9/11 Victim's Identity Discovered Only through Investigation Led by Hairdresser"p. 93
30 Conversation Between Mr. X. and Mr. Yp. 97
31 I Saw You Walkingp. 100
32 Neighborsp. 102
33 The Death of a Painterp. 106
34 If I Forget Theep. 110
35 True Storiesp. 113
36 How I Read since September 11thp. 116
37 I Think I Understand the Various Theories of Rainp. 118
38 Pitching September 11thp. 123
39 From A Few Stout Individualsp. 128
40 Mile Highp. 131
41 Notes from a New York Diaryp. 134
42 Boerum Hill Tankap. 138
43 The Lives of Rainp. 139
44 America everything has changedp. 140
45 Dog Walkingp. 142
46 Finding the Centerp. 145
47 The Price of Light and Airp. 148
48 We All Saw It, or The View from Homep. 151
49 Fallacies of Wonderp. 154
50 Still Life with Snow and Hammerp. 156
51 The World Trade Centerp. 158
52 The Orders (from Pariah)p. 160
53 Travel Logp. 164
54 Super 8p. 166
55 Unimaginablep. 170
56 24 September 2001, or Manhattan Seen in a New Lightp. 172
57 Entry of Buildingsp. 174
58 Shopping (3:58 p.m. September 11)p. 178
59 Various Slo-Moving Clouds Are Damagedp. 181
60 The Grief Technicianp. 185
61 Altering the World We Thought Would Outlast Usp. 189
62 The Dumpsterp. 192
63 A Rat's Lifep. 195
64 Ode: The Day Afterp. 197
65 His Friendship with Fearp. 200
66 Rio/Iguassu/Sao Paolop. 203
67 Time and King Davidp. 206
68 Potato Storiesp. 208
69 Some Place, No Placep. 211
70 Earlier Winterp. 213
71 The Night Marchersp. 215
72 Steeple-Peeplep. 218
73 Thought Experimentsp. 223
74 Mister Equanimityp. 225
75 My Son's Viewsp. 227
76 After a Bombingp. 230
77 A Historyp. 232
78 The Pondp. 235
79 Last Seenp. 238
80 A Plaguep. 240
81 Keeping Vigilp. 242
82 Riverp. 245
83 Christmas Musicp. 248
84 This Was a Testp. 251
85 Upon Seeing a Shooting Star on the Lawn at Tanglewood Two Days after the World Trade Center Disasterp. 254
86 Postcardp. 256
87 In the Foregroundp. 258
88 Near Novemberp. 260
89 Now They Are Leavingp. 263
90 Bonusp. 265
91 Nursep. 268
92 Instructions for Surviving the Unprecedentedp. 271
93 The War at Home; What to Save for Deathp. 275
94 Elvisp. 277
95 Hingep. 280
96 Re: Coversp. 284
97 Staffingp. 287
98 Shakespeare & Punkp. 291
99 Save Me from the Pious and the Vengefulp. 294
100 Bad Luckp. 297
101 Skylinesp. 299
102 Concert at St. Paul's Chapel, Fulton St.; From the Other Endp. 300
103 The Persistence of Who We Werep. 302
104 From Howlerp. 305
105 A Terror for Terrorp. 307
106 A Trampoline in Waynep. 310
107 [The movie set on the horizon glows]p. 312
108 New York Does Not Existp. 314
109 The Morning after That Onep. 317
110 Two New York Memoranda: October, 2001p. 319
About the Contributorsp. 321
Permissionsp. 333