After the Fall presents a timely and provocative examination of the impact and implications of 9/11 and the war on terror on American culture and literature. Presents the first detailed interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of crisis Develops a timely and provocative arguement about literature and trauma Relates U.S. writing since 9/11 to crucial social and historical changes in the U.S. and elsewhere Places U.S. writing in the context of the transformed position of the U.S. in a world characterized by political, economic, and military crisis; transnational drift; the resurgence of religious fundamentalism; and the apparent triumph of global capitalism A common refrain heard since the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 is that "everything has changed." After the Fall presents a timely and provocative examination of the impact and implications of 9/11 and the war on terror on American culture and literature. Author Richard Gray -- widely regarded as the leading European scholar in American literature -- reveals the widespread belief among novelists, dramatists, and poets -- as well as the American public at large -- that in the post-9/11 world they are all somehow living "after the fall." He carefully considers how many writers, faced with what they see as the end of their world, have retreated into the seductive pieties of home, hearth, and family; and how their works are informed by the equally seductive myth of American exceptionalism. As a counterbalance, Gray also discusses in depth the many writings that "get it right" -- transitional and genuinely crossbred works that resist the oppositional and simplistic "us and them"/"Christian and Muslim" language that has dominated mainstream commentary. These imaginative works, Gray believes, choose instead to respond to the heterogeneous character of the United States, as well as its necessary positioning in a transnational context. After the Fall offers illuminating insights into the relationships of such issues as nationalism, trauma, culture, and literature during a time of profound crisis.