SAGES class talk to authors Jess Walter and Sinan Antoon

On February 24, author Jess Walter visited the USSY287M Literature of 9-11 seminar taught by Suhaan Mehta, via Face Time,Face Time chat with Jess Walter for a lively conversation on his novel The Zero (2006). The Zero captures the trauma of ordinary Americans after 9/11 through the perspective of a cop named Brian Remy. Mr. Walter answered students’ questions on the novel’s elliptical structure, the post-9/11 commodification of grief, and his writing process. He said it was thrilling for him to watch students go deep into the text, make connections and, ultimately, go beyond it. On April 1, the class spoke via Skype to author and translator Sinan Antoon about his novel The Corpse Washer (2013), which he first wrote in Arabic. The Corpse Washer is a poignant account of the life of Iraqi civilians after the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Mr. Antoon, an associate professor at NYU’s Gallatin school, held forth on a range of topics including his particular choice of images in the book, the connection between the religious and the secular in Muslim-majority contexts, and the current situation in Iraq.

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