Book of the Week: 9/11/11 to 9/17/11

This week’s book:  In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman. New York: Pantheon Books, 2004.

There are many books, scholarly and literary,  in Purchase College Library’s collection about the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings that took place September 11, 2001.  For example, we have copies of the 9/11 Commission Report and have recently acquired a number of books related to the experience of American Muslims after 9/11In the Shadow of No Towers is today’s Library Book of the Week because it offers a unique viewpoint on these events in a unique format.

A graphic novel by acclaimed artist and New Yorker Art Spiegelman, “No Towers” is a visually striking reflection upon the events of Sept. 11, 2001.  Art Spiegelman is best known for his award-winning graphic novels Maus and Maus II which tell the story of the Holocaust using mice and cats to represent Jews and Nazis.  Maus was acclaimed for breaking boundaries in comic books by discussing serious historical and political topics, and also for its imaginative storytelling that breaks the “fourth” wall.  As in Maus, Spiegelman is the narrator in In the Shadow of No Towers.  In words and surreal images, the reader experiences the events of 9/11 through Speigelman’s eyes.  Always a thoughtful critic of society, Spiegelman examines the aftermath of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as what it means to live in a society continually entrenched in the “War on Terror.”

In the Shadow of No Towers is a moving, visually captivating, and cathartic exploration of life in New York during and after September 11, 2001.  Originally published in large-format on oversized, cardstock pages, the form of this graphic novel harkens back to the Winsor McCay classic comic  Little Nemo in SlumberlandIn the Shadow of No Towers has a dreamlike quality full of visual metaphors and symbols as Spiegelman tries comes to terms with the indelible image of the Twin Towers falling.

To check out a copy of In the Shadow of No Towers, see our graphic novel collection on the Library’s first floor.

Cover and Panel from In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman
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Posted on September 11, 2011, in book of the week. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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