"[S]ometimes America needs to be pushed": Amy Waldman's The Submission and the early American 9/11 novels

Author: Eikonsalo, Sini
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2017, vol. 43, iss. 2, pp. [79]-94
Extent
[79]-94
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
By comparing Amy Waldman's novel, The Submission (2011), to the earlier, already canonized American 9/11 novels, such as Don DeLillo's Falling Man (2007), John Updike's Terrorist (2006), and Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), this article suggests that Waldman's novel turns many tropes, themes, and customs of the earlier novels upside down, and thus, epitomizes a new phase in 9/11 literature. The article focuses on how The Submission redirects the reader's sympathies, undoes the atmosphere of suspicion and paranoia, drops the 9/11 victims and the attacks themselves from their pedestal, and deconstructs stereotypes. It shows how Waldman's novel steps away from the trauma and the victimhood of the earlier novels and takes a critical focus on the consequences of the attacks. Additionally, the article suggests that The Submission comments on and criticizes the dominant 9/11 discourse, while the earlier American 9/11 novels, perhaps unwittingly, tend to support it.
Document
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