Portraits: 9/11/01: The Collected "Portraits of Grief" from The New York Times

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9780805072228: Portraits: 9/11/01: The Collected

Poignant and personal remembrances, celebrating the lives of the World Trade Center victims.

Few aspects of The New York Times's coverage of September 11 and of all that has followed have attracted as much comment as "Portraits of Grief." A page or two buried deep in the B section every day for 15 weeks, the series profiled the lives lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center and has become a story in itself, becoming required reading for many, the world over.

Beginning on Sept. 14, a half-dozen Times reporters began working from a stack of 100 missing person fliers collected from points around the World Trade Center site. They crafted profiles--stories containing short but signature details of the lives they strove to present. These portraits transcend race, class, and gender lines and tell of the old and the young, praising their individuality while at the same time cutting through their differences to capture the poignancy of their shared similarity: life cut short in an American tragedy. The stories have become a source of connection and consolation, a focus for the sorrow of readers both reeling from disbelief and searching for support. To paraphrase "Portraits" reporter Charlie LeDuff, there's more than one Ground Zero--there are thousands of Ground Zeros. Portraits: 9/11/01, a collection of the over 1,800 profiles published in the Times, helps us visit them all.

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About the Author:

Over 120 reporters from The New York Times participated in the writing of the paper's daily feature, "Portraits of Grief," some for only a couple of days and others for months.

Howell Raines, the Executive Editor of the Times, writes the foreword for Portraits, and Janny Scott, a reporter on the Times's Metro desk, writes the introduction.

From Library Journal:

In the days and weeks following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the nation and New York in particular struggled to find normalcy. Yet the city's desire to confront the terror and, in turn, work through its grief was palpable. The New York Times's series "Portraits of Grief" was one response to this need. Described by Times executive editor Howell Raines as "snapshots of lives interrupted as they were being actively lived," the profiles give a face to a number, a story to a name. By now everyone in the nation has read at least one of these portraits, heard the legacy of a loved one retold by a friend, or remembered the name of just one person who perished. As the series initially served to highlight the missing, it eventually lent itself to healing a nation by giving short, unglorified glances into the lives of everyday Americans. This book collects the portraits that ran from September 15 through February 5 in the paper's " A Nation Challenged" section, with the hope that future printings will include the rest of those who were remembered. Each page is filled with the kaleidoscope of perspectives and passions that were lost that day, with victims ranging from firefighters and mothers to waiters and financiers in an equality of bereavement. Unfortunately, the look and feel of the newspaper are maintained, along with the poor picture quality, detracting from the often poetic text. That aside, it is recommended for all public libraries, where there will no doubt be demand. [One copy will be given to each victim's family, and all proceeds from the book go to benefit the New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund. Ed.] Rachel Collins, "Library Journal.
- Rachel Collins, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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