Eight individuals and how they rebuilt their lives in the aftermath of 9/11.
Psychoanalyst Stern (The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life, 2007) and journalist Martin (Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body, 2007, etc.) combine their skills in this companion to Jim Whitaker's documentary Rebirth, which will premiere on Showtime on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The authors feature a diverse group, including Nick Chirls, who was 15 when his mother Catherine died in the Cantor Fitzgerald offices on the 104th floor; Larry Courtney, who made history when New York State recognized his marriage to his longtime partner Gene, who worked on the 102nd floor; Joe Keenan, a New York cop who worked at the Fresh Kills recovery site, where all the material from Ground Zero was processed. The contributors’ accounts open up the warmth and resilience that they shared and used to empower their outreach to others. Stern and Martin situate their contributors within a context informed by ongoing, current work in the medical and psychoanalytical professions on grieving, resilience and coping with loss. The eight contributors participated with the project over time, so the account reflects what these individuals and others like them endured, and also how the country rose to their assistance, as relief and medical programs were shaped to deal with the tragedy and new realities.
The authors note that “the film…will eventually be housed at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum located at Ground Zero.” A fitting complement to and extension of that film, this thoughtful and uplifting collection will also stand on its own.