Novel New York
by Jessica Allen, 04/01/2014
National September 11 Memorial photo by Marley White • "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (2005), by Jonathan Safran Foer courtesy Houghton Mifflin Company
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Some readers consider Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to be the best novel written about 9/11 (thus far). In this work by Jonathan Safran Foer, 9-year-old Oskar Schell roams around NYC, armed with a key that supposedly belonged to his father, who died in the collapse of the Twin Towers. The traces of that time remain a palpable presence in NYC. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens on May 21, but in the meantime, you can reserve a free pass to visit the 9/11 Memorial. You're encouraged to leave mementos at either the memorial's pools or near the names of the deceased inscribed in bronze. You might also consider spending a few hours at the 9/11 Tribute Center, whose guides, including first responders, residents and survivors, witnessed the tragedy, or you might continue paying homage to the fallen at the Memorial Wall at FDNY Engine 10 Ladder 10, dedicated to firefighters who died that day. Nearby is St. Paul's Chapel, Manhattan's oldest surviving church, which suffered no damage despite the catastrophe that occurred in such close proximity. A relief center operated around the clock at the church for eight months following 9/11, and you can see some memorabilia there from that period.