Notable Book, 2004 Writers Notes Book Award for Culture
Walter Rumsey Marvin Award for Emerging Writers, Ohioana Library Association
The Smoke Week: Sept. 11-21, 2001 tells the story of the week of 9/11 and what New Yorkers saw, felt, and experienced during this tragedy. Ellis Avery’s award-winning memoir is both personal and stands as a document of this historic nightmare.
“Here is Witness. Here is Testimony.” Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Fifth Book of Peace
“Literary carpetbaggers swarmed over the emotional wreckage, but far from the bestseller lists, the real work of art often was going on in what some people referred to—unironically, inasmuch as irony had been declared dead—as the shadow of ground zero. In The Smoke Week, Ellis Avery writes about watching the rain dissolve thousands of photos of the missing that papered Lower Manhattan after the towers imploded. ”It’s like they’re dying all over again,’ she writes. ‘Isn’t it enough, to be killed and ashed and scattered? Do we have to breathe and drink their pictures, too? Today I cannot bear the ruthless thrift of living, the sickening alchemy of rot and seed. Even grief becomes manure.”’ Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News
“…goes right to the heart of what the living do and shows us a world… [of healing].” Jacqueline Woodson, author of Hush
“Her account is more intimate and real than any other I have come across.” Robert Canzoneri, author of A Highly Ramified Tree