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9/11 Novels Don’t Stack Up to Non-Fiction

USA Today’s Bob Minzesheimer compares numbers on fiction and non-fiction published since 9/11 that happen to focus in some way upon the event. 1,036 non-fiction titles – most notably the 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT – have found their way to bookstores in the past six years according to Books in Print, with a mere 30 fiction titles available. The Book Report’s Carol Fitzgerald says fiction can’t compete with the “visual images that dominate our memories. We don’t need to create stories around the event. There were enough stories there from the start.” Scribner editor Nan Graham says sales are “fantastic for serious literary fiction” such as her own FALLING MAN by Don DeLillo and she expects more, especially if it’s taught in college courses. She’s not surprised readers were attracted by non-fiction to try to answer questions: “What happened? Could it have been avoided?” Fiction “comes later as people ask, ‘How has it changed the way we think and act and remember?’

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