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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Updike's Terrorist

From Safran Foer to Auster, America's novelists have begun to try and find ways to assimilate and incorporate the tragedy of 9/11 in fiction. And now, it's the turn of John Updike to do the same. A report informs us that his next novel, simply titled Terrorist, "confronts the emotional issue of changes in America after the September 11, 2001, attacks with a culturally charged twist: Updike's terrorist is a U.S. teenager given a sympathetic treatment."

Says the author, who's just published a book of art criticism: "It's my attempt, in a way, to cope with today's world. Terrorism is one of our themes that has changed the texture of American life in a noticeable way. And of course it makes you fearful because you think 'well I'm not a terrorist but somebody could be'."

On changing expectations from the novel, he says: "Now people want to believe that this is just what happens, how it feels and how it looks. The fiction writer has less freedom to invent."


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