Amy Waldman's "The Submission": A Great American 9/11 Novel?

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[Editor's Note: I've seen a few reviews of Amy Waldman's The Submission popping up. It's controversial, for sure, but will there ever be a novel about 9/11 that isn't? Will this be a novel that we look back on, as the Oncoming Hope, as a great American novel?]

Amy Waldman's "The Submission", and the Age of Hysteria

It seems appropriate that given the approaching 10 year anniversary of 9/11, Amy Waldman gives us the perfect novel to make sense of it and the world that followed.

twin towers new york

Image Credit: Sander Lamme

In the Age of Hysteria that succeeded 9/11, most Americans have populated their worlds with flat, two-dimensional characters. What do I mean by that? That we are inclined to pre-judge people on single word epithets: Republican, Christian, Liberal, Commie, Feminist, Blogger, Lawyer and so on. Certainly, one can argue that we do this more and more because we are encouraged to by the arbiters of power: by the government, by the media, by community leaders, and so on.

In The Submission, Waldman aims to challenge this tendency, to show that it's not useful, that it reduces humans to even less than the sum of their parts. Not only that, these oversimplifications warp our very insides until we barely resemble the humans we imagine ourselves to be.

Read more from Amy Waldman's "The Submission", and the Age of Hysteria at The Oncoming Hope