A Decade of Hope: Stories of Grief and Endurance from 9/11 Families and Friends

Dennis Smith with Dierdre Smith. Viking, $26.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-670-02293-9
Smith (Report from Ground Zero), a former firefighter, collects 25 moving personal narratives in this significant addition to the literature of September 11. Featuring notable figures such as NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Congressman Peter King alongside rescue workers and victims’ family members and loved ones, Smith’s interviewees offer their experiences of that tragic day, illustrating how the pain and losses are still acutely felt. Smith absents himself from the dialogue, allowing the book’s focus to remain solely on his diverse narrators, whose essays combine to offer a message of surprising hope and renewal: Akiko Takahashi, who lost her father, volunteers at the WTC visitor center, giving tours and sharing her story; Rudy Abad, a former Merrill Lynch analyst who lost his wife, returned to his native Philippines to build a village in her honor; Erin Jackman, whose sister Brooke was killed, became president of a literacy organization, to pass on Brooke’s passion for literature. With restraint and pathos, Smith’s book provides powerful tribute and testimony. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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