charlotte's web and fear of dying // 19 Aug 2011

Hillel Italie, AP's book writer, has a great piece on how novelists have been trying to make sense of September 11, with bits on Jess Walter, Joseph O'Neill, Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, John Updike, Amy Waldman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Don DeLillo and even performance artist Karen Finley.

I loved the closing argument from writer Moshin Hamid, who recommends that we re-read Charlotte's Web...

If I had to prescribe a book about Sept. 11, certainly 'Charlotte's Web' would be high on the list. Because in secular societies in the West, the discourse about death has been marginalized as something for religion to deal with. I think we should plop 'Charlotte's Web' in the middle of that and say, 'Look, we have to accept we are going to die, and that a certain amount of courage is required.'