Helena Wright
Curator of Graphic Arts, Division of Information Technology & Society

"I have an almost visceral reaction to this."
I have an almost visceral reaction to this. It really grabs me the way that not many objects have done in my career, I would have to say.

It begins with a very full and crowded collection of pictures and newspaper accounts of the attacks. There is a kind of overwhelming collage effect in the beginning of the book--lots of pictures of people in very dire straits. All of the unpleasantness and fear and terror that were so overwhelming at the time.

And then the book, as it unfolds, becomes more reflective of what happened in the few weeks following the event where there are examples of mourning and remembrance, but also a beginning to try to understand what really was happening here. The book is not so crowded; there is a little more breathing space.

There are examples of poetry that Michelle Guyton wrote herself, as well as copies of biblical passages, other poetry, material about American history, other crises in American history, the history of the flag, and then a beginning to return to some kind of normalcy.

And a quote from Winston Churchill at the end: "This must not be considered as the end. It may possibly be the end, but it is the end of the beginning."