Figuring out 9/11 with fiction

January 30, 2006 | 2 books mentioned

coverIn her review of Deborah Eisenberg’s collection, Twilight of the Superheroes, CSM reviewer Yvonne Zipp leads with this declaration: “The Great American Novel used to be literature’s giant glass mountain. Now, it seems, we’ve switched to Making Sense of Sept. 11 as the ultimate unattainable goal.” I don’t know if that’s really true. Is this something American fiction writers are grappling with these days? Is this the great question of our generation? I don’t know, but then again, for whatever reason, I would love to read a work of fiction that takes on 9/11 in a challenging and illuminating way – so maybe 9/11 should matter to writers. Zipp goes on to say that “none have come closer to the top” than Eisenberg does with the title story in this collection, surpassing, in this contest to make sense of 9/11, Ian McEwan, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Anita Shreve.

Zipp also calls Deborah Eisenberg “the American Alice Munro,” which is funny because I always thought Alice Munro was the Canadian Joyce Carol Oates.

See Also:Michiko Kakutani has a review of Jay McInerney’s new novel, The Good Life, which takes on 9/11.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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