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American Widow Hardcover – September 9, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Choi is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has produced short comics as well as illustrations for The New York Times.
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Top Customer Reviews
On many levels, Torres bares her soul as she wades through the intense emotions surrounding the loss of Eddie Torres, her husband. Pregnant on September 11, 2001, the birth of her child by a dead husband put her into a situation even more intense. Betrayal, loss, anger, loneliness, and desperation ooze through in the sparse diary/dialogue laden narrative. The art by Sungyoon Choi is simple, and does not overwhelm the angst filled text.
Content wise, most Americans will never get a more honest education in the politics of humanitarian aid, whether Red Cross, or government based. The frustration the survivors must have dealt with are intimidating in lowpoint emphasis. The transformation from wife, to widow, to victim, to charity dependent, and finally to independence is compelling.
This will be a controversial book given the subject matter. Agree with Ms Torres or not, you will find yourself wanting to find out `the rest of the story'.
The story includes that fateful day up to the one-year anniversary with alternating flash backs including scenes of Eddie at 10-years old, his life before meeting Alissa and their courtship, marriage and pregnancy. In chapter one alone, my arms were covered with goose bumps. 9/11 was just Eddie's second day at his new job with Cantor Fitzgerald. Included is Alissa's deeply frustrating struggle with several assistance agencies and the government plus you see how different friends and family react to her circumstances.
The story exposed shows us just a glimmer of what surviving family members endured that I would have never imagined. When Alissa's private thoughts are shared you get a sense of how difficult and confusing this time in her life was and you can't help but be affected by this deeply personal story.
One of the most powerful aspects of American Widow is how the story of 9/11 changes around her, while her circumstance has not changed at all. She wakes up a widow, and she goes to sleep a widow. In the hours between the public has their own needs, their own opinions, their own exploitative desires. She just has a husband to bury. The common perception that aid flowed freely to help the victims of 9/11 due to the generosity of the American people is a bit too good to be true. Where large sums of money go, so go people invested in that money. 9/11 was no different. American Widow details the maze set up for those who lost loved ones, a maze ironically easier to navigate if you weren't lost in grief.
The subject of the book was very emotionally powerful for me, the story of a 8 month pregnant women whose husband is killed in the WTC on 9/11 and the ensuing struggle to cope with the tremendous loss despite the ongoing, stubborn everyday life that the world brings. Mixed in with the life story of her husband, it is a saddening yet powerfully revealing read.
The drawing and art of the novel are beautiful and extremely well done.
I am slightly amazed this book hasn't gotten more attention, which it is well deserving of.
I clearly remember the emotions of the actual day seven years ago. The ensuing turmoil of political situations over the years to now have been only too clear. But reading this marked the very first time tears have been brought to my eyes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an amateur 9/11 historian, and this book surprised me. The format is that of a comic book, which I wasn't expecting. But the story was pretty interesting.Published 2 days ago by Susan C. Turner
9/11 is a national (even international) tragedy, and in that sense we are all victims. As time passes we might think that we know something about that tragedy, how we should... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Leland Vall
I was disappointed with this novel. I agreed with a previous reviewer that there are important gaps in the information. Why was Torres mad at her husband before he died? Read morePublished on October 22, 2011 by Mickey
I find it hard to believe that no other reader noticed that the book is missing some words/lines here and there. Read morePublished on September 26, 2010 by Lynn S. Dopkin
September 11, 2001, was Eddie Torres's second day in a great new job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Read morePublished on January 27, 2010 by Michael K. Smith
Alissa and Eddie shared not just an American love story, but a New York one, a story that didn't receive the happy ending it deserved. Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by GraphicNovelReporter.com
The premise of AMERICAN WIDOW is gripping; a woman loses her husband on 9/11, which is also the second day of his new job. Read morePublished on October 11, 2009 by B. Wolinsky
I admit it, I didn't like it...
I expected a story , heartfelt from this woman who had been through so much and to be fair these drawings were her way of dealing with... Read more
This is completely done as an illustration. In the fashion of an old comic book. I know comi books - or illustrated books - are quite popular but it was not as I expected. Read morePublished on March 22, 2009 by MM