12 May 2008

Writing 9/11

From Writers and Readers Festivals, 6:00 pm on 12 May 2008

"After a couple of hours at their desks, on September 12, 2001, all the writers on earth were reluctantly considering a change of occupation" (Martin Amis). In this programme three very different fiction writers talk about their 9/11 stories. Patrick McGrath, a British expatriate and long-time resident of New York, tells three stories of the city in Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now, each of which explores the revolutionary violence that has shaped a nation. The British journalist and war correspondent James Meek negotiates the fury and impotence of those covering the war in We Are Now Beginning Our Descent. Mohsin Hamid was resident in New York when the planes hit. The main character in his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist whispers a love story from a café in Lahore. Together these three writers talk to Paul Diamond about how 9/11 has changed the world and the literary landscape, and explain why it is they felt compelled to tell 9/11 stories. Chair: Paul Diamond. Panelists: Patrick McGrath, James Meek, Mohsin Hamid.