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Dilemma posed by thriller-writing in the shadow of September 11th

21 December 2001

Writers and publishing industry figures comment on the dilemma posed by thriller-writing in the shadow of September 11th

'To Americans, terrorism is no longer fantasy... It's reality.'

Constance Sayre of Publishing Trends

The secret of most thrillers is that they 'do not thrill. They reassure.' They appeal to 'readers who yearn for some measure of justice. In fiction, the forces of good triumph, where they don't always in reality. But now, in this war without frontiers, it's more difficult to convince readers that everything is going to be all right."

Richard Hoyt

Thrillers 'show readers some place they've never been before. The trouble is that after Sept. 11, we're all living with what happened.' Even the Holocaust became an accepted backdrop for fiction, 'but not in 1945.'

Daniel Silva, author of The Unlikely Spy

'A diet of nothing but reality is hard to take for long' Readers are coming back to fiction 'as a way to process human nature and at the same time escape from the recent news. But what is escape for each reader is different. Some want happy endings because the fairy tale will comfort them. Others want a thriller about a serial killer who is more frightening than what's in the news - if that's possible.'

M J Rose. Author of High Fidelity and publishing and Internet commentator

(Quotes taken from an article in USA Today)