Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Books and 9/11

Shortly after 9/11, I began to wonder when the books about the disaster and the mentions of the day would begin to appear on bookshelves and in the movies.  Ten years outside of the horrific time, I think we can safely assume there is now a 9/11 canon.

Like many, I am interested in reading about the time, wishing to get inside the minds of people who witnessed and experienced the horror first hand.  When I read memoirs that take place over the span of time covering September 11, 2001, I eagerly read about what the author was doing.  One amazing thing about that day is that virtually everyone can tie themselves to other people via those moments and days.  We all know what we were doing simultaneously.

I heard Lauren Manning interviewed on NPR on September 11, 2011. Unmeasured Strength is her personal account of the horrible flames that engulfed her body in the lobby of the world trade center on the morning of 9/11, and the great strength and determination it took her to recover after the fire burned over 80 percent of her body.

Ms Manning had an insurmountable climb to make her way back to family and normalcy. Her face, back, legs, fingers and arms had to be grafted with new skin and devices and contraptions had to be constructed to keep her skin pliable so she would be able to move normally.  She had surgery after surgery on her hands and arms.  She had months and months of rehab and physical and occupational therapy.

When I think of this story, I think of her complete positive attitude.  She had to focus on living and recovery and the hard work of healing all while ignoring the stares and disabilities in order to be able to climb out of the very deep dark place that she found herself after the attacks.  Chapter after chapter focused on her unquenchable drive to heal and resume her life before the accident.

This is a fast read, easily available at the library, and if you are interested in the stories of the victims of 9/11, a satisfying read.

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