110 Stories / Edition 1

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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 theWorld 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
A smart idea...[drawing from]the incredible talent pool of New York City writers to consecrate the attack on the World Trade Center.
Carlos Orellana
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.
Booklist, September 2002
Kirkus Reviews
A smart idea...[drawing from]the incredible talent pool of New York City writers to consecrate the attack on the World Trade Center.
Library Journal
The wide range of writing styles and viewpoints, as well as Art Spiegelman's striking cover art, make this anthology a popular read this fall.
September 1, 2002
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.
Publishers Weekly
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.
Library Journal
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 Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814799055
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ulrich Baer is Associate Professor of German Literature at New York University. He is the author of several books on the representation of trauma in poetry, literature, and photography.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Circumference 10
2 Night of unity 13
3 Circum 19
4 Aftermath; invisible city 21
5 It shall be again 23
6 The sky was so blue 26
7 Womb shelter 28
8 A first kiss 32
9 Random notes - September 11, 2001, 4:00 P.M.; underground 34
10 Gelato is gelato 37
11 Prologue : the book of John 40
12 Report from Liberty Street 42
13 Perfect weather 47
14 New York, 12 September 2001 49
15 from Manhattan rhapsody 51
16 Union Square 54
17 The quick and the poor 57
18 Holy smoke 60
19 The same tune 62
20 On the day of the dead 64
21 Senseless 65
22 The therm 68
23 Grammar questions 72
24 Echoes 75
25 The ruin 78
26 Shorebirds Atlantic 80
27 Baby lust 86
28 Man on the PATH 89
29 "9/11 victim's identity discovered only through investigation led by hairdresser" 93
30 Conversation between Mr. X and Mr. Y 97
31 I saw you walking 100
32 Neighbors 102
33 The death of a painter 106
34 If I forget thee 110
35 True stories 113
36 How I read since September 11th 116
37 I think I understand the various theories of rain 118
38 Pitching September 11th 123
39 from A few stout individuals 128
40 Mile high 131
41 Notes from a New York diary 134
42 Boerum hill tanka 138
43 The lives of rain 139
44 America everything has changed 140
45 Dog walking 142
46 Finding the center 145
47 The price of light and air 148
48 We all saw it, or the view from home 151
49 Fallacies of wonder 154
50 Still life with snow and hammer 156
51 The World Trade Center 158
52 The orders (from Pariah) 160
53 Travel log 164
54 Super 8 166
55 Unimaginable 170
56 24 September 2001, or Manhattan seen in a new light 172
57 Entry of buildings 174
58 Shopping (3:58 P.M. September 11) 178
59 Various slo-moving clouds are damaged 181
60 The grief technician 185
61 Altering the world we thought would outlast us 189
62 The dumpster 192
63 A rat's life 195
64 Ode : the day after 197
65 His friendship with fear 200
66 Rio/Iguassu/Sao Paolo 203
67 Time and King David 206
68 Potato stories 208
69 Some place, no place 211
70 Earlier winter 213
71 The night marchers 215
72 Steeple-peeple 218
73 Thought experiments 223
74 Mister equanimity 225
75 My son's views 227
76 After a bombing 230
77 A history 232
78 The pond 235
79 Last seen 238
80 A plague 240
81 Keeping vigil 242
82 River 245
83 Christmas music 248
84 This was a test 251
85 Upon seeing a shooting star on the lawn at tanglewood two days after the world trade center disaster 254
86 Postcard 256
87 In the foreground 258
88 Near November 260
89 Now they are leaving 263
90 Bonus 265
91 Nurse 268
92 Instructions for surviving the unprecedented 271
93 The war at home; what to save for death 275
94 Elvis 277
95 Hinge 280
96 Re: covers 284
97 Staffing 287
98 Shakespeare & Punk 291
99 Save me from the pious and the vengeful 294
100 Bad luck 297
101 Skylines 299
102 Concert at St. Paul's Chapel, Fulton St.; from the other end 300
103 The persistence of who we were 302
104 From Howler 305
105 A terror for terror 307
106 A trampoline in Wayne 310
107 [The movie set on the horizon glows] 312
108 New York does not exist 314
109 The morning after that one 317
110 Two New York memoranda : October, 2001 319
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