Two recent studies of 9/11 literature are dismissive of the contributions that crime and espionage novels have made to ongoing efforts to map the significance of 9/11 and its aftermath. My essay contests the assumption that only literary fiction – which pays sufficient attention to trauma – can “bear witness” to the events of 9/11 and argues that such fiction is, in fact, singularly ill-equipped to illuminate the complex geo-political circumstances that 9/11 entrenched and transformed. By contrast, genre novels by John Le Carré and Don Winslow have responded in imaginative and critical ways to post-9/11 and avowedly trans-national securitization initiatives and hence to efforts to trouble traditional accounts of state sovereignty.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory