A candid 9/11 account that deftly focuses on those who are still grappling with the tragedy’s challenges.

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9/11.

A SURVIVOR'S STORY.

A collection of writings from a 9/11 survivor recalls not only the horror of that day, but also the trauma that followed months and even years after.

In this compilation of new material, blogs for the HuffPost, and Van Why’s (That Day in September, 2006) previous memoir, the author speaks not just about what he witnessed on 9/11, but the strife felt by him and others who lived through it as well. Working on Church Street, a mere stone’s throw from the World Trade Center, Van Why offers a firsthand account of both plane crashes, the strength of the urge to flee, and the desire to help those who fell in the street even before the buildings collapsed. Sharing these experiences with loved ones in emails, the author was encouraged by friends and family to continue to write about the event. At first, he penned a play, then adapted it, and he continued to produce prose. This collection examines a myriad of subjects relating to the tragedy along with Van Why’s own struggles with PTSD, as each anniversary, the death of Osama bin Laden, and visits to the 9/11 memorial stirred up feelings that were far from buried. Other survivors’ stories are shared as well as physical ailments caused by the toxins released that day. Van Why’s writings are intimate, particularly in capturing the drama of 9/11, recounting a surreal picture of streets littered with snowlike falling paper and the smell of the air, which the author realized was made up of not just burning jet fuel or building materials, but also “among those particles going down into my lungs were those of burnt human remains.” It is a shocking but necessary honesty, illustrating what so many survivors will carry the rest of their lives. Van Why’s play, which would become the basis for his first memoir, is discussed at some length. While writing about writing can become tedious, the insights revealed when audiences approached to divulge their own experiences—“Everyone has a story of 9/11”—make for a strong payoff.

A candid 9/11 account that deftly focuses on those who are still grappling with the tragedy’s challenges.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4834-8980-3

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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