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Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction

Homosociality and Nihilist Performance

Sandra Singer

Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction considers fictional work of the time subsequent to the attacks. The book develops and investigates models of stock characters in 9/11 fiction who promote the trauma meme within a narrative arc of tragedy; the conceptual evolution of trauma and media as thematic arcs is interpreted within specific 9/11 novels and in correspondence with other terrorist fiction. The almost exclusively male stock character protagonists include the male homosocial perpetrator and the tightrope walker. Among the more recent authors discussed are Amy Waldman and Thomas Pynchon, whose novels illustrate the way characters inhabit media models, rather than, as previously thought, using media for disseminating terrorist events and messaging. Other featured writers include Bernhard Schlink, Don DeLillo, Claire Messud, Ian McEwan, Joseph O’Neill, and Colum McCann. Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction is a valuable text for scholars of 9/11 fiction, as well as for professors and university students studying contemporary literature.

Acknowledgments – Introduction – Homosocial Character Dynamics in Bernhard Schlink’s The Weekend – Revisiting the Image of the Falling Man in Novels, Television and Film – Self-subtraction from the System: The Sleeper Cell in Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children – Limitations of the Hyper-rationalist in Ian McEwan’s Saturday – Gambling and Postcolonial Games of Risk in Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland – From Modernism to Postmodernism: The Trauma Meme Transformed in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin – Media Defining Terrorism in Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Assignment, Amy Waldman’s The Submission and Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge – Index.