BAE2011 – Trauma Stories

So, with all I’ve written so far about the preponderance of “trauma stories” in this volume, I figure we could have a robust discussion on these pieces, whether in comparing how different ones approach human suffering, picking favorites, or whatever tickles our fancy.

I’d rather direct discussion as little as possible and simply see what everyone has to say, but I figured it might be useful to list the essays I thought fit into this “genre” (if such a genre is even a fair classification), dividing them into “Personal Trauma” essays and “Observed Trauma” essays (though, you’ll notice, some essays fit into both categories).

Personal Trauma

  • “Beds,” Toi Derricotte
  • “Grieving,” Meenakshi Gigi Durham
  • “A-LOC,” Bernadette Esposito
  • “Topic of Cancer,” Christopher Hitchens
  • “Long Distance,” Victor LaValle
  • “What Really Happened,” Madge McKeithen
  • “Lucky Girl,” Bridget Potter
  • “Patient,” Rachel Riederer
  • “Unprepared,” Jerald Walker

Observed Trauma

  • “Port-au-Prince: The Moment,” Mischa Berlinski
  • “What Broke My Father’s Heart,” Katy Butler
  • “Auscultation,” Steven Church
  • “After the Ice,” Paul Crenshaw
  • “Beds,” Toi Derricotte
  • “Grieving,” Meenakshi Gigi Durham
  • “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” Charlie LeDuff
  • “What Really Happened,” Madge McKeithen
  • “Rude Am I in My Speech,” Caryl Phillips
  • “There Are Things Awry Here,” Lia Purpura
  • “Pearl, Upward,” Patricia Smith
  • “Unprepared,” Jerald Walker
  • “The Washing,” Reshma Memon Yaqub

Again, any way you want to react, whether to an individual essay or to compare them, is cool.

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