Monday, September 11, 2006


In the days and months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Guardian published the reflections of a number of prominent writers.

Among them:

Don DeLillo: History overturned December 22: The World Trade Centre attack was the defining moment of the year--and will haunt us for decades.

Salman Rushdie: living without fear October 6: How do we defeat terrorism? By embracing our everyday lives without fear,

Arundhati Roy: diplomacy and vengeance Sept 29: As the US prepares to wage a new kind of war, Arundhati Roy challenges the instinct for vengance

Peter Carey: Who am I praying to? There is no God Sept 23: The last week is a great blur with no divisions between night and day. Time is broken. The events of the first day bleed into the next and all the powerful emotions and disturbing sights are now so hard to put in proper sequence.

Jay McInerney: Remembering the disappeared Sept 22: In the week following the attacks, many New Yorkers have felt a need to gather in public, to express a complex set of needs to mourn, to express their solidarity with each other as well as with the dead.

Martin Amis: Fear and loathing Sept 18: That second plane looked eagerly alive, and galvanised with malice, and wholly alien. For those thousands in the south tower, the second plane meant the end of everything. For us, its glint was the worldflash of a coming future.

Jeanette Winterson: Forgive but don't forget Sept 18: There are only three possible endings to any story: revenge, tragedy, forgiveness. We need to forgive.

Richard Dawkins: Religion's misguided missiles Sept 15: I am trying to call attention to the elephant in the room that everybody is too polite--or too devout--to notice: religion, and specifically the devaluing effect that religion has on human life. Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end.

Simon Schama: The day America took the hit of its life Sept 14: This time the go-and-get-em American responses are scrambled by the terrifying diffuseness of the threat and the inconvenience of the enemy not being any sort of discernable nation state.

Ian McEwan: Beyond belief Sept 12: For most of us, at a certain point, the day froze, the work and all other obligations were left behind, the screen became the only reality. We entered a dreamlike state. We had seen this before, with giant budgets and special effects, but so badly rehearsed.

Click here to see other Guardian essays on 9/11 by prominent writers.

--Marshal Zeringue