9/11 and the Muslim presentation as the "Other" in American and Canadian Fiction

Textbook, 2017

124 Pages


Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Novels dealing with 9/11 ‒ a Survey

3. The Influence of 9/11 Novel on Muslim Writing

4. The Presentation of the Muslim in the Post-9/11 Novel

5. Canadian Muslim Writing – an Introduction

6. Notions of Other and Otherness ‒ An Introduction

7. Parameters of Otherness

8. Forms: Narratological Categories for the Analysis of the Genre
8.1. Preface
8.2 Islamic Spirituality and Transcendence
8.3 Identity Formation as one Central Problem of Islamic Writing
8.4 Identity as a Religious Matter
8.5 Failure
8.6 Powerlessness
8.7 The Quest for a Meaning of Life
8.8 Hybrid Description and Hybrid Identity under the Focus of Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism

9. Selected Novels
9.1 Fiction of Memory and its presentation of Otherness in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007)
9.1.1 The Reluctant Fundamentalist as an Example of Fiction of Memory
9.1.2 The Reluctant Fundamentalist – An Internal Discussion about the Essence of Religion
9.2 The Autobiography as a Radical Form of Otherness in Rawi Hage’s Cockroach (2008)
9.3 The radical Muslim as the Other in Jarett Kobek’s Atta (2011)

10. Outlook

11. Bibliography

This book is in memory of all victims of the terror attacks of 9/11. It is, however, in special memory of N. Janis Lasen (who died on American Airline Flight) and Joseph Gerard Leavey, Paul Lisson, Chet Louie, John Peter Lozowsky and Daniel Lugo who all found their deaths in the World Trade Center. You will be remembered like all other victims of that day. My thoughts are with them and the ones they left behind.

They are my age and showed me how precious life is and how lucky I have been in all my life.

This text is also in memory of the terrorists who killed thousands on that day while being mislead by a false kind of Islam.

May Allah show mercy on their lost souls, too!


It has now been sixteen years when America and the world were hit by a terror attack of a new and unknown quality. The Muslim terrorists belonging to Bin Laden's terror network Al-­Quaeda who hijacked several planes to use them as lethal weapons against America and her symbolic role as the country of freedom and democracy started a new era of political, social and religious uproar and chaos inexperienced so far.

This chaos expressed itself not only in the Gulf Wars that were to follow or the ongoing wars in Lybia, Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan and the migration waves to Europe as a result from all this it also paved the way for a literary embodiment of 9/11 which has found a fixed place within migrant writing in the widest sense and Muslim writing in particular as well as in new types of novels, the 9/11 novel, the post-9/11 novel and Ground Zero Fiction.

The fact that writers from East (and West) incorporated this key date into their novels threw light on the fact that 9/11 did not only function as a global, national, religious, collective or individual trauma it also showed its widespread application for plot, character constellations, speech and reception. This introduction and employment of 9/11 into contemporary English speaking literature thus slowly but steadily proved its ongoing importance for contemporary writing.

In 2007 the newspaper USA Today declared on a headline that 'Novels about 9/11 can't stack up to non-fiction' thus throwing light at the multiple use of it as a narrative element. In 2015 an editor for The New York Times Book Review suited that the necessity for a 9/11 novel goes on because it reflects 'a new age of terror’.

The fact that 9/11 by now has become a widely used element of Muslim writing shows that it is this group of contemporary novelists who are aware of its manifold use for fiction.

Literature is, however, always a reflection of social, political and religious conditions and it is exactly this link which is of special interest here.

The last 30 years have not only brought tremendous changes in the world originating from many reasons which have found one of their realizations in English speaking literature part of which are American and Canadian literature. This also goes for the keywords of this book which lie in the terms 'Other' and 'Otherness'.

From the political, economical, cultural and literary point of view America has first witnessed the disintegration of its sinister ‘Other’ the Soviet Union and the downfall of Communism as such. The collapse of Communism was soon followed by the triumph of global capitalism which brought about globalization and a re-emergence of religious fundamentalism.[1]

The terror attacks of September 11, 2001 did not only change the world they also changed the whole concept of the American way of life be it in America or the Western world. Since 9/11 the United States of America have been haunted with fear, a fear of its own possible impotence and decline (be they political, military, economical, religious or cultural).

It was suddenly other words such as coke, Ford or the concept of the American Dream that were attached to what it means to be American. Now terms such as 9/11 itself, crusade, 'This war on Islam', Al-Quaeda, Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay represented what America stood for.

It is against this political background that novelists had the task to write their books and the new types of novels in relation to the terror attacks of 2001 also have to be seen against this development.

9/11 novels, post-9/11 novels and Ground Zero Fiction which have a literary closeness of this day suddenly picked up the former colonial concepts of 'Other' and 'Otherness' or 'Center and Periphery' and set them in a context of a shifting, multicultural American population with the task to suddenly re-imagine this 'Other', a task which has hardly been dealt with and if so only on the surface. To do so is a difficult task since this has to be done from a Western perspective and in the light that this 'Other' here is attached to Islam or Muslims.

The literary presentation of the 'Other' as a Muslim remains a painful step since it also has to examine the ways in which knowledge is manipulated by dominant Western and Muslim discourses but it helps to bring in new energy into the postcolonial discourse being shaped by critics such as Said, Spivak or Foucault.

Thus fiction related to 9/11 must not only stay on the level of shock or individual or collective trauma it can also be seen as a starting point for new cultural and critical debates how to deal and write about the terror attacks of that day and how to see the Muslim as the 'Other' in a more objective light.

How this can be done will be one central part of this book which starts with a general remark of Muslim writing before and after 9/11 and a short reflection of different types of novels dealing with it.

A next step lies in the task to critically reflect the presentation of Muslims in 9/11 fiction in the USA and Canada. This will be followed by an analysis of parameters typical for Muslim existence. A closer analysis will then be followed by three novels dealing with matters of 'Otherness', The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007), Cockroach (2008) and Atta (2011). The final step then will be to give an outlook of the matter discussed here.

The choice of the three novels analyzed here followed one basic principle namely that all selected authors are male and dispose of a different cultural and religious background with Islam as the common glue.

Rawi Hage's family originates in Lebanon and belongs to a Christian minority which throws a specific light on Islamic otherness. [2] This otherness is completely different in Jarett Kobek's novel Atta since Kobek (whose family is Turkish I American) focuses on the presentation of a radical fundamentalist turning into a terrorist and murderer in the name of Islam.

The only author of a - let me call it authentic- Islamic background is Mohsin Hamid who originates in Pakistan.

Despite these various backgrounds all three approaches help to throw a different light on Muslims as the others and therefore help to understand the literary presentation of Muslims in contemporary English speaking literature which ranges from immigrant, scapegoat, fundamentalist to terrorist.

There are, of course, manifold other approaches to present Muslim otherness in the West. Some of the most important examples are John Udike's Terrorist (2006), Niroz Malek's Der Spaziergänger von Aleppo (2015) which originated in French with the title Le Promeneur d'Alep, Michel Houllebecq's Soumission (2015) or Amy Waldman's novel The Submission (2011).

The balance between male and female novelists dealing with Muslim otherness at the moment still seems to be in the hands of male authors but the increasing number of female authors working in this field shows the importance of this matter for all types of writer.

Other books dealing with the Muslim other are Martin Amis' novel The Last Days of Mohammad Atta (2006) later collected in the hodgepodge The Second Plane. This novel has a completely different ending to Kobek's novel since the character of Atta in the end here knows that he has done something wrong and he also suffers the burden of living. In the end he dies of great grief. Two more books to mention are Don DeLillo' s figure of Hammad in Falling Man (2007), or Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland (2008).

1. Introduction

She had seen the second plane, like a gleaming arrow, and the burst of it, oddly beautiful against the blue, and the smoke, everywhere, and she had seen the people jumping, from a far, specks in the sky, and she knew that's what they were only from the TV, from the great reality check of the screen, and she had seen the building crumble to dust ...

Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children, 2006

More than 15 years after Osama bin Laden had planned and ordered his followers to attack America in New York literature related to the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001 has reached an ambiguous status among critics.

This is mainly due to the fact that there is no fixed terminology by which this event has by now been literarily covered. This - let me call it - literary insecurity must not be taken as a sign of disorientation or helplessness it rather stems from the trauma and insecurity resulting from these attacks. In the long run it does not only show respect to the manifold victims of that day and this openness rather speaks for a flexible concept do deal with 9/11 and thus disposes of a dynamic basis.

There are, however, three concepts which by now have found a fixed place in the discussion on literature dealing with 9/11.

The most common and open terminology can be seen with the term literature about 9/11 which is closely followed by the 9/11 novel or Ground Zero Fiction.

Since 2001 the literary terms 9/11 novel, post-9/11 novel or Ground Zero Fiction have gained a fixed place in contemporary English speaking fiction. They must, however, be used in a wider sense than novel based or linked to a specific day or place since they cover a vast range of literary, political, religious or psychological topics.

Any limitation then stands for a (literary) ghettoisation and this would not correspond the wide field of options, topics or parameters which these novels contain and which range from notions of ‘a clash of civilizations', Islam / Islamism, religious and economical fundamentalism, trauma, the image of the dying city or the traditional postcolonial dualism of 'them and us'. Interesting among these concepts is the fact that the narrative perspectives are mostly governed by an adult point of view. There is still only a small number of books on the market which look at 9/11 from a child's point of view. This is added by another limited number of Muslim writers who also have a say on this. Basically both children and Muslims are mainly used to push the action or to explore character development or character constellations.

It goes without saying that the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 resulted in a national and global shock and trauma. These two components marked the basis for any literature dealing with it and has made clear that any literary presentation of 9/11 was, has been and will be caught in the dialectics of (this specific) crisis and its representation. The dilemma involved in this unveils the problem to present (a literary) image and reality. Thus the resulting discrepancy between the real and the fictitious has to be balanced by any writer dealing with 9/11. For Däwes (2011) this dilemma results in the novelists' "decline as shapers of sensibility and thought" (ibid.: 27) and thus finds author and reader alike somehow paralyzed.

9/11 as a key date of American history and its critical reflection in cultural studies and literature are often connected to personal grief which is set against public memory.[3] It is here where individual and collective grief and their commemoration stand between two other (culturally, politically and literarily shaped) aspects of innovation and paralysis. Innovation here represents the ability to somehow cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks on whatever level and paralysis stands for the inability to do so. The function of memory - which is the glue between these two forces - is to go away from the experience and description of dying to a broader realm of existence. This is often done by mourning and melancholia which stem from the trauma connected to 9/11 and which are also prone to the manipulation of politics. Simpson (2006) in reference to Edkins (2003) sees this too and says that ''the state, or whatever form of power is replacing it, has taken charge of trauma time" (ibid.: 4). What both critics want to express is the fact that politics in general and governments in power control trauma time with an ideology or concepts of war (see the Gulf Wars and phrases like 'Crusade', 'This war on Islam' or 'Holy War' etc.).[4] The fact that the site of the Twin Towers has been transformed into a museum and a place of memory is symbolic too since it shows that American society is absorbed by trauma, grief, their memory and the forces of "its own transformation and renewal" (ibid.: 15) as well as the need for a cultivation (and consumption) of this day. Ground Zero thus has become the perfect literary 'lieux de mémoire' and the perfect "manipulative iconicity" ( ibid.: 16).

To write about 9/11 or Ground Zero is also closely connected to a wide range of terms such as grief, sorrow, memory, trauma, revenge, hate and love and the task of writers is to give intimacy and consolation. The perspective with which this is done is often compared to voyeurism or by standing which both hint at the (still existing) inability of writers and readers to fully understand the grief and sorrow experienced at this day.

The reasons for the manifold literary attempts to write about the events connected to 9/11 are manifold. There are, however, some major elements which are based on historical, political, sociological, religious, psychological or literary reasons which stem out. The need to literarily reflect September 11th, 2001 was first based on the fact that America had the feeling that she was attacked or as Gray (2011) even puts it "invaded" (ibid.:5) while the whole world was watching this on TV. The fact that the media showed and followed the terror attacks gained a new dimension which the German philosopher Habermas described as an event for a 'global public'.

It is here interesting to add that one vital consequence from this medial presentation was the fact the people talked about a traumatic event which was also an "ironic one" (ibid.: 7).

Whatever the approach to 9/11 might be it became obvious that this day stood and stands for an exceptional day in America's history which again became the task for novelists to write about. Dealing with 9/11 does not only mean to simply write about it - it is also to imagine disaster, crisis, trauma and death. The tools to cope with this were new concepts of hybridity, religion, religious or political fundamentalism or deterritorialisation all of which were newly used to have the chance to get into history, to participate and to analyze it.

A large number of novelists trying to write about the terror attacks seized this chance but there are others who were unable to do so because of being traumatized. Their literary inability to act and write was rooted in their personal trauma which was based by the ongoing social and political changes and the many personal crises as well as the struggles between cultures and religions.

Whatever the position might be people take one central literary consequence of this day that 9/11 has changed American literature while pushing it out from its traditional local background of family, village or town onto a global stage with all advantages or disadvantages. This move from local to global has not only changed American literature radically it will also continue to do so simply because 9/11 and Ground Zero as places of narration dispose of what Däwes (2011) sees as a "spatial universalism" (ibid.: 404).

Literature on 9/11 at first kept a close relationship to the attacks and their consequences on people and it is here where the analysis of trauma which has still not been solved (and which will definitely be at the very center of writing in the near future too) because of the tremendous psychological impacts of the destruction of buildings and the massive killing of human beings. The distance to trauma which will continue in the future might then be used to explore the long-term consequences on the subjective and objective level.

Although 9/11 has already found a specific place in contemporary English speaking literature contemporary Canadian literature seems to show a lack of it.[5] This seems to have many different reasons which range from a neglective attitude or literary distance to traumatic passiveness. Although the events around September 11 have found a multiple echo in (Canadian) newspaper and magazine articles the number of Canadian writers working with literary reactions in novels on 9/11 is fairly small if you compare it to American or British novelists or those who could be labelled under the term postcolonial or Muslim writers.

The most profounding Canadian novelists having dealt with 9/11 are Margaret Atwood, Alistair Macleod, Roch Carrier, Nicole Brossard or Louise Dupré. These and others (around 40) took positions and wrote about 9/11 but - to stress it one more time - hardly any profound articles or books on the literary reactions as such seem to be at hand.

What has become clear, however, with American based literature is the already mentioned fact that the events around 9/11 kicked traditional American literature out of its literary comfort zone which had found a fixed place in domestic and local issues which now had to face a more global reality. Outstanding American writers like Thornton Wilder, Arthur Miller, Steinbeck or Harper Lee who all stressed the microcosm of farms, houses or towns to analyze the macrocosm of American society where suddenly replaced by writers like Rawi Hage, Mohsin Hamid, Jarett Kobek, McEwan, DonDeLillo, Joseph O'Neill, Claire Messud or Amy Waldman who all favoured local and global elements. One central element of these novelists is a (critical) reflection of the individual trauma which is added by and set against mass or collective trauma which had (next to 9/11) already found a historical reality in the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima or the ongoing Syrian War.

The terror attacks of 9/11 were immediately followed by stricter law enforcement such as the Canadian Anti-terrorism Act of 2001 or the USA Patriot Act of the same year. It was especially these two laws which stood for a limitation of mobility and a new concept of the term 'border' which was now newly defined within the scope of a modern 'Them' and 'Us' concept. This old dualistic notion stemming from postcolonial times suddenly did not only introduce xenophobia or Islamophobia into Western and American society it also brought back long neglected topics into the novel such as anxieties about security, state control or surveillance thus making novels more political (see Paul Auster's book Man in the Dark (2008)) Next to this - let me call it political touch - two other topics emerged here. The talk is about trauma and mourning which by now have found a fixed place in 9/11 fiction, the post 9/11 novel and Ground Zero Fiction.

As things are now it will be interesting to see what this mix of migrant and American plus Canadian born writers in the future will lead to. They have, however, already implanted a literary dynamics into contemporary English speaking literature which contains an enormous energy.

2. Novels dealing with 9/11 ‒ a Survey

What is true is wherever there's a history of violence you can be sure to find unscrupulous politicians to exploit. But underneath there are always rational causes. And 'ancient hatreds' is just the phrase they drag out when they can't be bothered to do anything at all.

David Hare, The Vertical Hour, 2006

9/11 American based novels (like all other novels dealing with 9/11) are also always documents of America's progress as a nation and a civilization, at this particular place and time.[6]

This also goes for Pearl Harbour and the Vietnam War which both were traumatic predecessors of 9/11 and which helped to shape this nation as it is today. The historical reality which lies underneath all three traumas is based on the innocence and heroism of all victims a literary condition which must not be forgotten and which appears in the dramatic lure of the cataclysmic shock of 9/11 which is juxtaposed to a more realistic silence and speechlessness. The fact that many novelists including 9/11 into their narrative connect this speechlessness into the traumatic paralysis of people, New York or America throws light at their common literary concern of making sense of the world after 9/11. It is exactly at the crossroad of this historical (and thus public) event and its psychological radiation in the plot that makes 9/11 personal in the struggle of the main characters to survive under the newly posed question: How do we now live?[7]

Post-9/11 novels try to de-collectivize this traumatic event. They take the collective experience and show individual and selective consequences of it. They de-historicize and de-politicize this specific moment by focussing on the official, the private or the fictional narrative which all try to show a glimpse of the horror of that day and its consequences.

All these novels stress that literature has dealt with an event that continues to shape a world conflict and that predominately resonates in the American (and Western plus Islamic) imagination. This fairly new genre shows that the corpus of literary fiction discussing 9/11 is characterized by a fundamental sense of conflictedness related to the tension of collective or personal trauma, the mourning resulting from them and given political imperatives.

The subject of 9/11 and its impact on the American (and Western) psyche has also already found a fixed place in Muslim writing and it will certainly resurface in literature for generations be it as an elegy to an entire metropolis and America or as part of the long-term psychological effects on characters involved here. It is the direct and indirect memory of the protagonists which will be used to construct and de-construct the emotional emptiness and hazy desperation which took control of the world on this day and which until today realized itself in a spiritual disorientation which can slowly be broken up in novels yet to come.

It is common knowledge that America and the world have been changed by the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Amid all the confusion and chaos emerging from it something like a hole opened up in American history which realized itself in a vacuum of accountability and insecurity which 9/11 novels try to fill. 9/11 novels were not born on September 11, 2001 but are a logical continuation of contemporary American fiction of the 90s. This part of American writing was characterized by an absence of intrusive world-historical crises. In that decade most American writers increasingly turned towards things at hand, to family and individuals opposed to society or local matters.

This turning away from the historical and political to the more personal paralysed the novel which was met unprepared by 9/11 simply because this event meant a break between the pre- and the post-9/11 world. It was therefore logical that it was this personal level which became the basis of narration and it was set against a globalized world of terror. It was this historical background and the political ramifications of the terror attacks which helped to transcend the familiar American private sphere into a global surrounding. American (like many Muslim) characters were suddenly confronted with being global players acting within a historically established and thus fixed field. And it was this battleground of 9/11 where these characters suddenly had to find out that their lives were profoundly implicated by others. This new constellation in fact helped to build a new kind of American identity whose final shape has not been reached, neither in fiction nor in reality. It is also here where in the long run another question waits to be finally answered which lies in the option that it is the Muslim characters who often function as mirrors for America with the aim to view and experience reality anew, an option which unfortunately has not been met with proper possibilities.

9/11 has captured and still captures the imagination of people. One medium with substantial critical attention to this is the novel. Post-9/11 novels (more than other types of novels) are frequently linked to debates about the wider role of fiction in society evoking compelling questions about how we see and judge the attacks in retrospect. The large number of novels stemming from and incorporating this key date of mankind shows the need to write about it. The critical debates that came along these novels in fact reinforced George Bush's statement that 'on September 11 night fell on the world'. The complex background of the terror attacks of that day which many novels of this genre try to unfold shows that contemporary narrative has become more difficult since the interpretation and narration of the national, collective and personal trauma has reached a new dimension.[8]

All novels related to 9/11 also pose the question how and if authors attempt to represent the incomprehensible. Interestingly speaking it often is the personal and domestic level (family, relationships, marriage) where matters of fear, xenophobia, the geopolitics of the 'war on terror', fundamentalism or trauma are presented which also applies one novel reflected here, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Many 9/11 authors here can be seen as writers who follow canonical novels like Rebecca West's The Return of the Soldier (1918), Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), Earnest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926) or Kurt Vonnegut' s masterpiece Slaughterhouse 5 (1969) which all focused on war as trauma of both world wars.[9]

Post-9/11 novels consequently speaking evoked cultural, religious a literary debates of what fiction stands for and how it should deal with catastrophes, terror and religious fundamentalism of the 21st century.[10]

It was Zadie Smith who hinted at this literary importance of post-9/11 novels already in 2008. While discussing a new novel by Joseph O'Neill she stated that 'it's the post-September 11 novel we hoped for' meaning that it was time for America to deal with other matters, moments, events and perspectives in contemporary history which are all linked to 9/11.

What is obvious is the fact that the reception and debates around this type of novel have not only been informative and shocking as the many novels themselves but that the genre of post-9/11 novels will certainly continue to provide cultural, political, religious as well as literary food on how we remember the attacks and how we deal with them now and in future times to come. In December 2001 Don DeLillo already accepted the 'realness ' of 9 /11 by stating that 'language is inseparable from the world that provokes it'. If one critically reflects this statement it becomes obvious that post-9/11 novels and stories are necessary for the documentation of our history and thus for the narrative reflection of our society.

What became clear in the dealing with 9/11 is the fact that collective and individual trauma and their literary presentation throw light on the question if it is okay to re-arrange historical events like this. The answer to this question must be yes because all these stories are about us, about our ideas, our desires and our hopes and about our intuitions, however marginal, wrong, or unrealized they may be. It was, is and will therefore be important to write and read about 9/11 but it will be interesting to see how time and (historical) distance will shape and change these various literary approaches.

A already said the terror attacks on September 11, 2001 politically, culturally and religiously meant a shock for the civilized world. Next to this state of paralysis there came about a chance for literature (Western and Islamic literature alike) to cope and to work with this trauma.

It might sound ironic or even cynical but it was 9/11 which did not only create a new genre ‒ the post-9/11 novel ‒ but which also offered the chance for contemporary writing to leave behind the familiar 'literary comfort zone' (a term of the author of this text) of local, regional or national matters. Suddenly characters who otherwise remained passive were thrown on a globalized scene where loss, trauma or religious fundamentalism gained a new quality.

Post-9/11 novels did and still do reflect the difficulty of writers to narrate unimaginable events, to dissect truths and to observe in slow motion what is summed up by the term horrible. The horrific here is something which unfolded too quickly to be understood in real-time thus needing reflections both by novelists and readers.

Conclusions drawn from all this are that 9/11 as such is more than a setting. It rather demands a re-acquaintance with the notion of the 'American Dream' simply because it critically questions it. Tragedy and trauma are not only used as negative elements of narration they are offered as invitations to change our lives. But they also show us that we all need lifelong efforts to grasp this event.

Post-9/11 novels do not only describe and reflect horror they also pose unanswered questions such as: What can we learn from them? or What can they teach us about September 11? A key question also not answered is What post-9/11 novels can teach us about novels at all?

Even though these questions at present might perhaps stay unsolved there remains the task of all of us namely to reflect what we are supposed to do about 9/11 in fiction and in life.

Although Ground Zero strictly speaking is a fairly small geographical place it became central for 9/11 fiction, the post 9/11 novel and for Ground Zero Fiction as such.[11] While writing about Ground Zero novelists disposed of four major elements for their writing which had already found their basis in colonial and postcolonial writing. The first two consisted of mapping this particular day next to including a limited space which soon gained a universal status. They were followed by memory and trauma which had also already found a fixed place in English speaking literature.

9/11 as a historic event made way for novelists to describe and focus on a seemingly stable material reality. At first writers only incorporated the attacks on the Twin Towers into their plots as a background tool. Then others wanted to look behind the scenes with individual human beings and their stories which resulted in a stressing of authenticity as a literary tool.

Ground Zero Fiction has the advantage to use a fixed place and a fixed time to unfold the narratives resulting from them. This close intensity of time and place can already be found in the English speaking literature of the 19th century where the regional was used by many novelists to reflect social, human or political matters.

Ground Zero Fiction did, however, finally put an end to irony and postmodernism as the most influential literary theory of the 20th century since both are only difficult to present here. What this type of literature can do though is to disrupt the terrorist attacks narrative through tropes, symbols, metaphors and a ( re-) arrangement of alternative meanings which can all be used to express the unspeakable of that day.

When novelists take up Ground Zero as the central place of their narration which they fix to the timeline of one day (September 11th, 2001) they often create something which Däwes (2011) describes as the 'mapping of 9/11'. ‒ She here does, however, not limit the events and effects of this day but rather states them in a more global setting which includes other places like the birthplaces of the victims as well:

"The map of September 11, 2001, is thus not limited ‒ geographically, politically, or culturally ‒ to New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania". (ibid.: 403)

The conclusion which Däwes (and others) draws from this refers to space and memory as well. 9/11 and Ground Zero can therefore be linked to a "spatial universalism" (ibid.: 404) which demands temporal axes as well as axes of temporality.

As far as memory is concerned novelists, critics and readers alike know that they have the moral obligation to memorialize 9/11 and Ground Zero.

The literary approaches to do so are multiple and they range from the detective novel, to the thriller, the social novel or the political novel. It is especially this political background which many writers (indirectly or directly) make use of and which becomes so central for 9/11 fiction. It is Morley (2016) who here says: "Many post-9/11 fiction wrestles with the problem of resolving the personal and the political". (ibid.: 17)

It is especially the political elements which hereby reflect national and trans-historical connections and global perspectives which novelists mix with personal layers.

Interesting though is the fact that Ground Zero Fiction (just like the 9/11 novel, the post-9/11 novel and the Literature of Terror) make use of traditional elements of the postcolonial novel which lie in parameters such as 'us ‒ them', 'self ‒ other' or the hybrid condition which all types of novels connect to this one day.

For most writers this was not a logical step to do since they were confronted with the key question how to understand and express the meaning of 9/11. The hardest step for them, of course, was to put this question into "the realm of representation" (Randall, 2011: 4).

Fiction itself got 'under attack' as Amis put it. What he means by this was the problem of many writers to cope with the ethical and aesthetic difficulties of the massive trauma of 9/11. In fact critics often talk about 'the helplessness of writers'. Morley (2016) sees this, too, when she says that 'the idea of invented characters and alternative realities seemed trivial and frivolous and suddenly, horribly outdated'. For her the world has changed by the events of 9/11 when she states that

"The world of broken landscapes, deserted cities, unsettling absences, and terrifying, unspoken trauma" (ibid.: 3) suddenly became part of fiction.

Ground Zero Novels basically revolve loosely around September 11, 2001. Their aim is to recontextualize historical (political and religious) developments of this specific time and day to describe, sketch or outline long-term consequences on a subjective (or objective) way.

It is here where a fixed place (the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center) obtains a key position. The (literary) intentions of their use are:

1. To present this day (as well as its background and consequences) in some sort of intensified narration which Däwes (2011) describes as "the (spatila and / or temporal) setting". ( ibid.:.81)
2. To focus this with images of a personal attack
3. The use of many plots which are not narrated in a linear way
4. To do so with spatial metaphors

As already been said Ground Zero Fiction is caught in between a specific time and place (September 11, 2001 and New York / Manhattan / the Twin Towers) and larger historical processes and conspiracies. It employs this familiar setting of Manhattan within the fixed timeframe of one day in order to describe the above mentioned particularities, its historical, political and emotional impacts on the USA and its manifold narratives.[12]

This fundamental and thus radical decision of Ground Zero Fiction to focus on a fixed time and location stresses the literary aim that the local colour implies, namely to make sure that all events narrated could not have happened somewhere else.

The literary scope which 9/11 has created down the years is multiple and ranges from what Amis calls 'a literature of reason' to what Baudrillard describes as 'a death which is symbolic'. The small number of writers stemming from a Muslim background hereby introduced new perspectives which consisted in their own and Muslim side.

The fact that 9/11 took place in New York brought in another interesting aspect of contemporary writing which lies in the description of the dying city. Although the city (or the postcolonial city) has always been a popular place of narration it is the specific type of the dying city which suddenly experienced a renaissance. New York suddenly was put on a level with Babylon, Niniveh, Constantinople, Hiroshima, Nagasaki or Dresden. The idea of a city dying had somehow lost its importance and down the last four or five decades was hardly found in works apart from Jane Jacob's The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) or Manhattan Transfer (1925) by John Dos Passos.

Concepts and images of dying cities are often connected to morbidity which itself has a long tradition in many national literatures (see the Vulgate of the Middle Ages, memento motifs, danse macabre, symbols of vanitas, fin de sieclè (Baudelaire) the Gothic novel, war literature (Rebecca West, Robert Graves, Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut) or writers such as Virginia Woolf.

Interestingly speaking the morbid does not only refer to death and an afterlife it also signifies what life is and thus indicates the presence of the living. The morbid here also functions as a sign of life and a catalyst of cultural processes.

In connection to the Gothic novel it is exactly this energy between cultural vitality and cultural morbidity which has somehow experienced a literary renaissance with the literary analysis of the Terror attacks of September 11, 2001.[13]

Many novels dealing with 9/11 exactly include these fictional, autobiographical or semi­autobiographical narratives of melancholia, trauma, illness, personal or cultural grief and dying and the result must not necessarily be individual or collective expressions of personal traumas, social pathologies or collective dispositions but also strategies of ʹSelfʹ and 'Other' or binary oppositions such as 'inside - outside' or 'they and us' which find their expressions in othering different cultures, ideas, religions or persons and conflicting or deadly encounters. The morbid and the dying city must therefore be seen as two productive categories with a negative and a destructive and positive energy alike.

The apocalyptic basis of 9/11 fiction thus becomes the framework to describe and reflect the enormous (political, cultural, literary) positions of this type of fiction.

New York as the dying city is thus not only presented with physical or moral decay and death it rather introduces a new form of an aesthetic of death in contemporary culture.

To sum it up 9/11 fiction started a new discussion on trauma, melancholia and mourning which have to be "considered in the discussions of multicultural societies" (Siewert / Mehnert, 2012: 16).

Ground Zero Fiction is on its part able to disrupt the terrorist narrative through tropes, symbols and an alternative presentation that is of reality. It is especially the burning and collapse of the Twin Towers which has reached the status of an iconography. It was to offer what some critics see as a 'guidance' to replace 'paralysis' with creativity. Novelists do this while contextualizing a specific event (namely September 11, 2001).

Literature dealing with 9/11 in general makes use of some sort of unconscious history writing of our world with the intention to understand what as De Lillo puts it 'has happened on this day'.

By now Ground Zero Fiction has also put an end to American literature being obsessed with irony and postmodernism. Their end brought in a stressing of the principle of plurality, de-hierarchization and semiotic tolerance and lead to a more openness to politics and cultural rhetorics which were suddenly (re-)discovered as a stable image based on America's loss of innocence and therefore marked a new phase of contemporary writing.

3. The Influence of 9/11 Novel on Muslim Writing

The writer wants to understand what this day has done to us. The writer tries to give memory, tenderness, and meaning to all that howling space.

Don DeLillo, In the Ruins of the Future (2001 )

Migrant writing as a major element of contemporary English speaking literature of the last five centuries has constantly been connected to topics such as trauma of migration, immigration, exodus, exile, ghetto life, assimilation, diaspora and identity matters all of which can be directly or indirectly connected to religion. It is Haviland (2010) who comments on traumatic losses or events and their recovery with the words that in general "narrative plays an important role in these models" (ibid.: 429). This close connection to the religious stems from the fact that religion is a major 'identity provider' with a touch of a resistance identity which helps to contrast the opposing worlds the migrant has to face. Literature and religion -which had lost their traditional close ties of the past - were suddenly re-discovered by Muslim novelists (and some Western writers as well) with the aim to deplore individual characters or topics such as the 'war on terrorism'. Yet authors writing about Islam and terrorism in particular seem to mix the alien and other with the sinister and violent. Questions of Muslim identity often boil down to matters of identity such as an identity crisis or a feeling of being displaced with the option of a radicalisation and terrorism or fundamentalism as two possible options of hybrid existence.

Terrorism (to which 9/11 belongs) can thus be seen as an element of criticism or attacks on a (seemingly) tyrannizing state which fundamentalists like to replace with an even more terrorizing regime. It is especially the growing group of Muslim writers who here seem to follow Dostoevsky or Conrad who are considered to be the pioneers of terrorist writing. For the American situation one consequence following from 9/11 was the fact that America equated 9/11 with terror. The most important novels published in the aftermath of 9/11 are definitely John Updike's The Terrorist (2006) , Don DeLillo's Falling Man (2008), Alexie Sherman's Flight (2007), Khaled Hossein's novels The Kite Runner (2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), T he Mountains Echoed (2013) and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007).

On the British side pioneer works here are Kiran Desai' s The Inheritance of Loss (2006), Hisham Matar' s In the Country of Men (2007), or Salman Rushdie' s Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (2015) along the growing number of female writers such as Monica Ali, Tahmima Anam, Fadiy Faquir, Samina Ali or Kia Abdullah who all included 9/11 as an element to push the action or to simply reflect character development or character constellations.[14]

Within the very short timespan of 15 years the 9/11 novel has developed into a contested and troubled genre because 9/11 was (and is) more than a historical event, it is a setting which itself started an explosion of fiction that wasn't necessarily to have been. It showed, however, that the 9/11 topic of fiction is of special quality and need because novelists want to reanimate reality. Writers and readers alike have the chance to draw themselves back into the orbit of life because mankind has become apathetic or simply shocked and traumatized because of the events of that day. It was the theologian Michael Wyschogrod who remarked in the face of the Holocaust that 'Art takes the sting out of the suffering' and it is here where the basic attempt of this genre can be seen.

The wide employment of 9/11 as a literary element in many contemporary novels disposing of a Muslim background does, however, not necessarily mean that critics talk about a new genre of the terrorist novel, the historic novel or a new type of detective novel but it definitely hints at this manifold employment of 9/11 as a literary element. Apart from the strictly speaking literary function it is the general mix between the religiously alien function of the Islamic background which this date includes. It is exactly with the help of 9/11 that novelists and readers alike are confronted with a violent other of a new kind. Otherness itself has found a fixed place in contemporary migrant writing but it is the Islamic elements which have stressed this radical quality.[15] To merely talk about the literary side does, however, not fully cover the full range of 9/11 since there is always a negative political manipulation and a negative multiplication that goes along any literary employment of this day. It is these two poles which finally make the reader reflect the literary presentation of any Muslim characters among which there is hatred, misunderstanding or sympathy which novelists cover in frameworks such as biographies or religious and political contexts.

Muslim writing as part of migrant writing has changed the perspective of 9/11 while focussing on the side of Muslims. While bringing in their point of view of the terror attacks and their consequences on the public and private sector novelists stemming from an Islamic background have made clear again that it has always been the task of literature to participate in the larger cultural process on representing and interpreting the events of September 11, 2001.

The literary response to the trauma of 9/11 at first followed a chronological development. At first there were short forms such as essays, brief personal reminiscences and poetry which tried to literarily reflect that catastrophe. Then after some years it was the novel and full­-length memories which picked 9/11 up. The Muslim perspective then was (and is) the final aspect but it has long been expected.

9/11 as a literary starting point is often characterized by the transition from narratives of rupture to narratives of continuity which are both set in the classical patterns between public and private. The glue of Muslim writers here is religion which itself is used in exactly this private and public sector.

Muslim writing on 9/11 also defines the relationships between politics and aesthetics, and those between history and narrative anew simply while bringing in the above mentioned (and neglected) Muslim side.

While dealing with 9/11 Muslim writers here follow one central aim of the 9/11 novel, post-9/11 novel and Ground Zero Fiction which consists in the revelation of the tension between private experience and the necessarily social means for representing it. Both have by now become a fixed part of the history of literature about the terror attacks.

Striking though is the fact that the Muslim perspective is often placed in the poles of literature and terrorism which both target matters such as the inner life, human consciousness, sensibility, dreams, hopes, thoughts and failure (see Rothberg, 2008: 125ff.). It is this Muslim perspective on 9/11 which shows us the Muslim as the other and the otherness of Muslim existence. It is exactly this otherness which shows that the Western and the Eastern world have somehow not (yet) melted 16 years after the terror attacks making clear that "we are living in a place of danger and rage" (De Lillo, 2001: 33).

Despite the fact that the basic atmosphere has not changed much it is the aim of Muslim writing to create a new consciousness of 9/11 as such.

Another second aim lies in a critical reflection of the instability of common poles such as 'us and them ', the secular and the religious or reason and fanaticism.

This can only be done when both sides try to (positively) occupy the space of the other. Literature and other forms of art allow us to imagine alternative responses to the violence of terrorism and a mass-mediated (and manipulated) culture. It is also literature which can help us to explore the intersections between the public and the private and it "can help to understand the feelings that terrorism draws on and produces" (Rothberg, 2008: 131).

Most Muslim writers are aware of this difficult inclusion of 9/11 into their works and it is here where they often function as postcolonial writers who have always found themselves between the classical constellation of native and alien or Islam and the West. It is here where they are often trapped in the fault-line of these binaries and it also exactly in these fields where they have to place and to present their characters who have to re-adapt their lives. Apart from the biography or semi-biography it is also the use of familiar postmodernist or modernist devices such as the disjunctive chronology which are used to make up the plot.

One result from this employment of 9/11 lies in a critical revision of the West as the place where oppressed and modern oriented people can find shelter from a militant Orient whose representatives carry bombs, function as suicide bombers or hijackers.

It is this militant background which reminds the reader that anger, hatred and fury are the easiest emotions life offers and that violence as such is an easygoing tool and too automatically used to solve complex personal and political problems.

This also goes for Western readers who should be aware of the fact to simply label militant Muslims (in life and fiction) as being paranoid.

The fact that these characters are set in the West and in Muslim countries alike shows that the novel - as Said suggested - hints at the 'polarity of East and West' which too often is still governed by the national and colonial histories of the Muslim countries and their Western colonization. What is striking so is the fact that Islam as a religion is often presented as being apart from politics. This also goes for the use of militant jihad since both are mostly employed to support the narrative. Militant Islam or jihad are also often used to deconstruct the rigid logic of the violence 9 / 11 includes and both mainly help to show (or break down) the above mentioned polarities between East and West.

The present trend of many Muslim writers lies in the attempt to take the narrative away from the West to the former colonies (or their reflection of both) and it can therefore be seen as an attempt to show the ongoing personal and postcolonial desire to create independence.

Novels including terrorism in general and 9/11 in particular are also often marked by a deep pessimism and cynicism about politics which they attach to the personal of the main characters or a nation. In short the Muslim side is deeply rooted in the three classical traumatic events the Muslim world had to face with the West. The first encounter of this kind were the crusades which were followed by Western imperialism of the 17th, 18th and 19th century which humiliated Islam culturally, economically and religiously. The third ‒ and in its own kind the most dangerous one ‒ is the present era of globalization which has attacked (and still attacks) Islam in all its spheres. One major result from this was (and is) a feeling of humiliation within the Muslim world by the West which was linked with the permanent wish of the Muslim world to get recognition (Moïsi 2009: 92-97; 105 ff.). This feeling of having lost the belief in oneself can therefore be considered to be one major reason for the renaissance of Islamic fundamentalism and 9/11 is a logical result from this. Hourani (1992) already hinted at this while stating about the Arabic world and its central problem to have lost "den Glauben an sich selbst" (ibid.: 369).

Al-Quaeda and the IS therefore stem from a mix of cultural, religious, socio-economic and psychological reasons which originate in this humiliation and the power the West exercised in the East. 9/11 and the consequences resulting from this (such as the Gulf Wars or 'The war on Terror' showed the West that this fight cannot be won easily because radical Muslims offer to give back an Islamic self-esteem to people who have been humiliated for a long time. The 'clash of civilizations' which critics like Huntington consider to be a logical result from all this will therefore finally result in 'culture wars' between conservative or radical groups.[16]

This 'clash of civilizations' is based on one ‒ if not the most central background ‒ of postcolonial writing. The talk here is about the migrant background of most characters which results in the migrancy trope which most novels construct. Migrancy here is often experienced as a personal trauma which is set in relation to the wish of belonging. It is in this constellation that the Western surrounding (state, culture, people etc.) in the final analysis cannot be regarded to be a safe haven or an anchor for the immigrant as such. Many novels here seem to follow Boehmer's (2005) notion of the 'postcolonial migrant' who faces a 'national and historical rootlessness' which is stressed by political short-sightedness and cynicism. It is again the above mentioned political side of many pre-9/11 and post-9/11 novels which is rooted in the historical background of these works which itself lies in the effort of former colonies to de-colonize in order to find a new nationhood. It is interesting to see that Islam and Islamic fundamentalism are hereby both offered as personal options of a new identity. This creates an objective and personal level in most novels which is set against the struggle of nation (or Islam) to escape from all kinds of Western domination in order to free oneself. Muslim characters here are described as individuals who want to escape their hybrid condition and the fact that their migration process includes something which Nünning / Nünning (2004) describe as 'cross-fertilization'.


[1] The term fundamentalism must not (strictly speaking) be only attached to the religious. It basically describes a cultural and religious uprootedness which goes astray from an established religion. It has often a close connection to apocalyptic elements or influences which explains its central intention to destroy or kill all enemies.

[2] It is important to point out that Rawi Hage strictly speaking is not a Muslim. He in fact belongs to the Christian minority in Lebanon. The author of this essay does, however, include Cockroach as a novel because it describes Muslim existence in the West. Basically speaking the autobiography is an attempt to explore the past of a person or character through the re- construction of mental images preserved in memory. It is therefore a way to discuss identity matters in the form of a quest how a person is. The diasporic background of Canada for writers of ethnic or religious minorities thus is the perfect background to do so. In an interview with Forget / Freure (2014) Hage states that this is typical for minority writers. Hage here says that he thinks that 'there is this whole' seek the autobiographical 'attitude, at the expense of work. But that is almost a given when it comes to this group of writers'.

[3] The literary reactions to the events of September 11th 2001 were and are numerous. The attacks of 9/1 l did not start a literary movement in Great Britain, America or Canada they were yet the initiative for a political - literary debate. At the center of these discussions was the complex matter of a "literature at the wake of the terrorist attack" (Enkemann, 2002, p. 54) and the question if modern literature was seized by a new seriousness. In connection to this topic compare the newspaper articles of lan Mc Ewan (12.09.2001), Carlyl Philipps (14.09.2001), Martin Amis (18.09.2001), and Zadie Smith (13.10.2001). Loomba (2005) draws a line between 9/11, the US invasion of lraque and Afghanistan and the postcolonial literature with its description of mobile and hybrid identities (ibid.: 218).

[4] In the West the notion of a 'Holy War' was first used by Aristoteles. His words hierós pólemos marked the beginning of a long and often false use of this term.

[5] American and Canadian literature dealing with 9/11 have a closer and emotionally speaking stronger link to 9/11 novels and Ground Zero Fiction simply because of the geographical closeness to New York. European fiction instead is often marked by this geographical distance.

[6] In general one can say that it is difficult to give one fixed definition of what a 9/11 novel is. There are manifold attempts and definitions from which three criteria seem to emerge:

1. The setting is based on the Twin Towers

2. There is a strong symbolic relevance of the attacks described

3. There is a deep personal involvement of characters

Literary critics do, however, differ between three typs of novels; the 9/11 novel, the post-9/11 novel and Ground Zero Fiction. For the first two one critic states that the '9/11 novel is an uneven and somewhat unsatisfying creation, the post-9/11 novel was the essential form of the last decade'. Both types, however, dispose of an enormous literary energy and they function as windows into a cultural miasma. Basically speaking both types of novels tell us what 9/11 means. The insecurity which arises from this attempt hints at one central aim of fiction dealing with this day, namely an uncertainly of life which is everywhere. The key problem emerging from this lies in the question how the cultural and symbolic imaginary of 9/11 is translated into its narrative formats. The first novels connected to this type of novel are - as far as the American situation is concerned - Weyland's Cheyenne in New York (2002) and for the Canadian literature Senauth's Day of Terror: The Sagas of 11th of September, (2001) . Other well known English speaking novelists working with 9/11 are Paul Auster, Roch Carrier, Siri Hustvedt, Amy Waldman and Singh Baldwin. The media played an instant and central role on 9/11. Critical people soon talked about a manipulative function as well since TV commentators, newspaper reporters and users of the social media soon developed a one - sided, biased and anti-Muslim view of the terror attacks. The representation of 9/11 on the whole can be regarded to be manipulative and the basis for this manipulation can be seen in the permanent repletion of the plane flying into the Twin Towers or their collapse, both images with a strong symbolic quality.

[7] In connection to trauma as one central literary topic of literature connected to 9/11 it is interesting to note that literature embedded trauma also in topics such as death or mourning or even to what Simon Stow calls a 'pornography of grief' aiming at the public involvement with the help of the media in relationship to the personal trauma which is there.

[8] The narrators and readers of 9/11, post-9/11 and Ground Zero Fiction are never neutral or objective participants of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 since they are directly or indirectly involved in the attacks themselves, mostly as victims. There are, however, two terms which critics often use while talking about the narration of these events. The two central ones are observer (which describes a more objective level) and voyeur (which implies the subjective one).

[9] The number of symbolic approaches attached to the Twin Towers and 9/11, is quite large and includes several forms of interpretation. First there is their symbolic meaning of the economic dominance and power of America which is often attached to the underlying levels of arrogance and inhumanity. Next there is a religious symbolism when they are related to the 'tour de Babel’ representing mankind's hypris, greed and atheist turn. The religious is also seen in the towers being symbols of the transformation of religions and ritual arrogance. A totally different field of the towers is seen when they are interpreted as female or male sexual parts such as breasts or as phallus symbols. Among writers and critics alike they are mostly used as a place of action and as a lieu de mémoire an image also being used to maintain, stabilize and reinforce dominant constructions of national memory. Another famous book using towers is Lord of the Rings (1937) where the towers symbolize the two visions of evil Tolkien explores.

[10] Religions were, are and will never be the only reasons for wars - they are always linked and / or bound to specific political and social contexts. To deny this would be wrong and naïve.

[11] 'Ground Zero' as a term is originally referred to the sites of the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. In relation to the terror attacks of 9/11 it is used on the binary opposition of 'Before and After'. The main idea of Ground Zero Fiction then lies in the hint at the apocalyptic level of that place.

[12] The first type of Ground Zero Fiction according to Däwes (2011) worked on three levels:

1. documentary

2. conspirological

3. ideological (ibid.: 30) and most novels were testimonial or autobiographical rather than aesthetic. (ibid.: 30).

[13] Important is the 9/11 symbols/numerology The number of symbolic meanings and numerology linked to 9/11 is large and multiple.

A short survey will clarify this:

- Mohammed's birth is on the 11th day of the 9th month

- The Twin Towers standing next to each other looked like 11

- The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11

- New York City counts 11 letters

- So does Afghanistan

- There were 92 passengers on Flight 11 (9 plus 2 = 11)

- Mohamed Atta includes 11 letters

- The Taliban Manuel of Afghan Jihad consists of 11 volumes

[14] Forerunners of 9/11 novels introducing radical Islam and fundamentalism are Hanif Kureishi's Black Album (1995), My Beautiful Laundrette (1986), Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses (1988), or V.S. Naipaul Among the Believers (1981). Today it is the large group of female Muslim writers such as Leila Aboudela, Fadia Faquir or Tahmima Anam who embedded radical Islam into their novels along matters of emancipation.The literary output of novels after September 11, 2001 is tremendous and multiple. Muslim and Western writers alike were and still are aware of the vast use of 9/11 as a literary tool. The list given here to the reader is incomplete, it does however throw light on the increasing number of writers who employed it into their works in a multiple way as well as in different genres. All novels are listed up according to their year of publication: Mohsin Hamid Moth Smoke ( 2001), Monica Ali Brick Lane (2003), Nicholas Rinaldi Between Two Rivers (2004), Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner (2004), Asne Seierstad The Bookseller of Kabul (2004) David Foster Wallace (2004) , Ian McEwan Saturday (2005), Bret Eaton Ellis Luna Park (2005), Dan Fespermann The Warlord's Son (2005), Benjamin Kunkel Indecision (2005), Salman Rushdie Shalimar the Clown (2005), Chris Adrian A Better Angel (2006), Robert Ferrigno Prayers for the Assassin (2006), David Llewellyn Eleven (2006), Jay McInerney The Good Life (2006), Joel C. Rosenberg The last Jihad (2006), Ian McEwan Saturday (2006) ,Claire Messud The Emperor's Children (2006), Carolin See There will never be another you (2006), Jess Walter The Zero (2006), Helen Schuman A Day at the Beach (2007) , Martin Amis The Second Plane (2008), Nadeem Aslam's The Wasted Vigil (2008), Andre Dubus III The Garden of Last Days (2008), H. Noavi's Home Boy (2008), Joseph O'Neill Netherland (2008),Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence (2008), David Levithan Love is the Higher Law (2009), Kamila Shamsie Burnt Shadows ( 2009). Anna Perera Guantanmo Boy (2009), Jonathan Franzen Freedom (2010) , Don DeLillo Point Omega (2010), Amy Waldmann The S ubmission (2011), Thomas Pynchon Bleeding (2013), Nora Raleigh Baskia Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story (2016) , Gae Polisner The Memory of Things ( 2016). A special genre of 9/11 fiction are teenage books which use the teenage point of view to reflect this day and its consequences. The most important ones here are: Wendy Mills, All we have left (2016), Nora Raleigh Baskin , Nine, Ten. A September 11 Story (2016), Jewell Parker Rhodes, Towers Falling (2016) . It is of course also a complete genre of the novel - the detective story - which picked up 9/11 as the perfect narrative element. See e.g. Pynchon 's Bleeding Edge ( 2013).

[15] The talk here is about another important element of migrant writing which lies in the presentation of the disporic cultural and religious identity which seems to focus itself out as the key element of Muslim writing as the literary form to discuss Muslim hybrid existence which includes a kind of identity 9/11 reflected, namely resistance identity as the form of modern Muslim existence in the West. Postcolonial writing in the past has been marked by concepts of exile, exodus, trauma migration, immigration, assimilation, ghetto, diaspora or globalization all of which together formed the 'migrant condition' (see Edwards 2008). Since 9/11, however, this 'migrant condition' has been added up to religious fundamentalism which radicalized it in many ways while newly stressing Muslim identity with the result of clearly distinguishing between Muslim and non Muslim identity as such.

[16] Representation of the 'Other' is one central topic of Postcolonial studies part of which is Islamic writing since they are constructed. Spivak and Said as the most important critics of this field see this, too. Spivak, e.g. here demands a 'persistent critique' in order to simply avoid the 'Other' as an object of knowledge. Said also permanently states that representation can never be truly objective. These basic concepts clearly came out between 2001 and 2007 when many narratives on 9/11 were produced in which Islam and Islamic fundamentalism were directly or indirectly presented or referred to in post -9/11 English novels thus proving that Islam has already gained a fixed place in contemporary writing.

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9/11 and the Muslim presentation as the "Other" in American and Canadian Fiction
University of Marburg
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East- West, Other Otherness, 9/11 novel post-9/11 novel, reflection of social, political and religious conditions and it is exactly this link which is of special interest here., September 11- 2001 did not only change the world they also changed the whole concept of America
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Dr. Matthias Dickert (Author), 2017, 9/11 and the Muslim presentation as the "Other" in American and Canadian Fiction, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/379493


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