Creative Writing Program Director Daniel Torday Among Writers Marking Sept. 11 in Kenyon Review

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 2:42 pm.

tordayIn his introductory blog post to a special web feature from the Kenyon Review marking the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, Director of the Bryn Mawr College Creative Writing Program Daniel Torday writes:

“The morning the planes flew into the towers, the US president was reading ‘The Pet Goat’ to a group of second-graders at the Booker Elementary in Sarasota, Florida. This year’s incoming college freshmen were one grade ahead of that Florida class the Tuesday morning the towers came down. In my classes at Bryn Mawr College this month they’ll be reading Kafka, Orwell, Tom Junod’s masterpiece of 9/11 reporting, ‘The Falling Man.’ They’ll read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad, and note the mention in that novel of the towers absent from the lower Manhattan skyline.”

The feature includes Torday’s 2007 story “Undress,” of which he writes:

“I did not set out to write about 9/11 in my story ‘Undress,’ but at some point in the writing, it appeared. I’d recently finished reading Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. That novel was published a decade after the Blitz ended in London—the story of a love affair upended by the explosion of a Luftwaffe bomb at the outset of WWII. In looking at the way Greene so masterfully allowed the events of the Blitz to play themselves out in the lives of lovers not directly connected to the war itself, something of the reality of such trauma revealed itself. Events so large seep into our lives in ways unexpected and surprising, and so into our books.”

Among the places Torday’s fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared are Esquire, Harvard Review, Glimmer Train, and The New York Times and on the literary websites Five Chapters, and Fifty-Two Stories.

A former editor at Esquire, Torday serves as a Book Review Editor at The Kenyon Review. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Literary Imagination, and a consulting editor at Hunger Mountain. A collection of his short stories was recently named a finalist for the Bakeless Prize, and he is at work on a novel. Torday holds a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University, where he taught literature and writing.

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