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Friday, September 16, 2011

Anniversary brings avalanche of 9/11 books

NEW YORK (AFP) - The tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks has unleashed a publishing avalanche, with a crush of new books about the fateful day and new editions of older works like Noam Chomsky's "9-11."

Among the new accounts is "After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 11 and the Years that Followed," which sets out to show how New York changed after the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center.

The book presents interviews with hundreds of people from different parts of the city -- first responders, taxi drivers, teachers, artists, religious leaders, immigrants -- by Columbia University's Oral History Research Office.

"The result is a remarkable time-lapse account of the city as it changed in the wake of 9/11," its publisher The New Press says in an introduction to "After the Fall."

Another new book is "The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden" by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan Drawing, which publisher Ballantine Books touts as "the first panoramic, authoritative look back at 9/11."

It draws on recently released documents, interviews and "the perspective that can come only from a decade of research and reflection," Ballantine says.

September 11 and its aftermath also have inspired works of fiction like "The Submission," a novel by former New York Times reporter Amy Waldman.

It imagines what would have happened if a jury responsible for picking a proposal for a memorial at Ground Zero had chosen a design by an American Muslim architect.

At least two books are cast as tributes to the victims of 9/11, including "9/11: The World Speaks," which includes more than 200,000 messages from people from around the world who have visited the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, which opened in 2006 near the site of the Twin Towers.

The attack was the deadliest ever on US soil with Al-Qaeda militants in hijacked airliners toppling the New York landmark, smashing into the Pentagon, and crashing into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died.

The anniversary has also been an occasion to re-release books which some critics consider fundamental to understanding September 11 and the war against terrorism that has ensued over the past decade.

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