First time novelist, Amy Waldman, has created a gut-punch of a novel in The Submission
, a tale that wonders: What would happen if the architectural design competition for the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial was won by an American-Muslim?
The story opens two years after the attacks, with a jury deliberating over the two finalists in the Memorial Design competition - The Void and The Garden. The jury, after very tense and prolonged deliberations, finally selects its winner: The Garden. It is at this point the identity of the designer is revealed, an architect named Mohammad (Mo) Khan.
Chaos, of course, ensues as Khan's identity as an American-Muslim, is leaked to the media and citizens. Special interest groups and pundits argue for and against the fitness of both the individual and his design. Claire Burwell, whose husband died on September 11th, is a...
Beyond the Book
The search for the World Trade Center Memorial design, which is now being built where the Twin Towers once stood, began in 2003. While honoring those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, the memorial also pays tribute to the seven people killed and thousands injured in the WTC attack on February 26, 1993. Memorializing these 3,000+ people, the national monument incorporates the victims' names at the very center of its structure.
In total, 5,201 designs were received, and 62 countries were represented by the submissions. The selection committee - a jury of thirteen people - included architects (for example,...