The Clear Blue Sky

Reviewed by Frank Rich in The New York Times:


By Don DeLillo.

No matter where you stood in the city, the air was thick after the towers fell: literally thick with the soot and stench of incinerated flesh that turned terror into a condition as inescapable as the weather. All bets were off. New Yorkers who always know where they’re going didn’t know where to go. Cab drivers named Muhammad were now feared as the enemy within; strangers on the street were improbably embraced like family under a canopy of fliers for the missing. Such, for a while anyway, was the “new normal,” though the old normal began to reassert itself almost as soon as that facile catchphrase was coined. Today 9/11 carries so many burdens — of interpretation, of sentimentality, of politics, of war — that sometimes it’s hard to find the rubble of the actual event beneath the layers of edifice we’ve built on top of it. (Or built on top of all of it except ground zero.)

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