9/11 My Love
11 septembre mon amour, along with Frederick Beigbeder’s Windows on the World (recently purchased by Talk Miramax), was featured in the New York Times as one of the two controversial French literary interpretations of the events of September 11. The night before the attacks, Lang arrived on an Indian reservation in Wyoming, where he planned to pursue his life-long interest in Native Americans. Instead, he awoke to September 11, and the book blends together the events, emotions, and cultural juxtapositions of that experience to create a daring, often painful vision mixing elements of the road-novel and memoir. As his work begins to process the tragedy, as the reservation’s teepees subtly morph into New York’s skyscrapers, as Geoge W. Bush acquires the “cowboy” persona, Lang slowly ties the two worlds together, bridging the geographical, cultural, and historical divides. The tragic fates of the Native Americans and the victims of 9/11 interact with each other in an unsettling meditation on how a collective psyche deals with past and present horror. Furthermore, the title, directly referring to Duras’ Hiroshima mon amour, widens the book’s scope even more to encompass yet another deeply scarring event in world history.
Here is an admiring description of the book by Edmund White:
Luc Lang's 9/11 My Love tells the story of the now familiar New York tragedy from the unfamiliar perspective of a Frenchman living out his cowboy and Indian fantasy in the Wild West. Lang recounts in his lean, rapid, extraordinarily efficient style the cross-cultural confusion, the mixture of raw emotion and media sound bites, the effect of a radical geographical displacement and his narrator's shocking repatriation to the universal sentiments of dread and empathy. This book moves us precisely because it approaches us from such a strange angle.
Luc Lang : Luc Lang is the prize-winning author of the novels Liverpool Marée Haute, Voyage sur la ligne d’horizon, Furies,(with Éditions Gallimard) and Mille six cents ventres (Fayard, 1998, in the original; English translation Strangeways with Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2000, Phoenix House 2002), Les Indiens (Stock, 2001), and of 11 septembre mon amour (Stock, 2003). He is a frequent guest at writers' conferences around the United States.