Betül Ateşci Koçak


The sudden disappearance of the Twin Towers created a big gap both in the city’s outward appearance and in the lives of many people in the aftermath of September 11. Soon after the attacks, there aroused a discussion about what should be done to the site of destruction, which was immediately named “Ground Zero”. Besides the political authorities, architects strove to reflect opinions about the necessity of another structure. Now an ex-journalist, Amy Waldman worked in the years after the attacks as a reporter and reflected what she witnessed in the aftermath of the attacks in her very first novel, The Submission. Though the author refrains from referring to the attacks in the novel as those of 9/11 so as to liberate the world of imagination, as she recounts in the recoded TV interviews, it is difficult to read the novel without thinking about the 9/11 context. Therefore, the novel is quite an illuminating source in the sense that it provides a fictionalized version of what was experienced in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks mostly in terms of the collective trauma and lost sense of attachment to place upon the unexpected devastation of the Twin Towers that caused psychological emptiness in addition to the physical emptiness in the city’s outward aspect. This paper studies Amy Waldman’s The Submission in terms of collective trauma.


Amy Waldman, The Submisson, 9/11, Collective Trauma, 11 September 2001

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