9/1/11: Atta

In Atta, a brilliant novella just published by semiotext(e), Jarett Kobek channels Mohamed Atta, ringleader of 9/11, looking back on his life.

“This also is my story,” thinks Mohamed Atta, “I too am an immigrant success.”

Kobek’s tour de force, his writing-within-the-constraints, is not just a compelling version of the terrorist mindset, it is also a useful antidote to commemorative treacle.

An accompanying long story, “The Whitman of Tikrit,” reconstitutes the last days of the Tyrant, poetaster Saddam Hussein.

It is not too late to read this even more ingeniously told story, either.

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