Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit From 9/11 Survivors
By Dr. Robin Stern and Courtney E. Martin
Ten years is hardly enough time to forget the horrors of September 11th, 2001. But as life goes on, those directly impacted have had to find a way to heal and make peace with the tragedy, however difficult and despite daily reminders of loved ones lost. Their stories of resilience and recovery serve as inspiration to the rest of us in PROJECT REBIRTH: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors (on sale: August 18, 2011). Psychoanalyst Robin Stern and award-winning journalist Courtney E. Martin examine the lives of eight such individuals who had the courage to pick up the pieces of their lives and put them back together again, showing the universalities of grief and the amazing human capacity for survival after tragedy. PROJECT REBIRTH is about more than 9/11: it is a study of grief and a testament to our ability to live through grief and come out the other side.
PROJECT REBIRTH was written in conjunction with the documentary Rebirth directed by Jim Whitaker. Rebirth premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to great critical acclaim. It will be released theatrically by Oscilloscope Laboratories in August and will air on Showtime on September 11, 2011. The Hollywood Reporter praised it as “both a work of art and of the heart … really and truly inspiring.”
Examine each person individually, Stern and Martin provide a deeply personal account of the journey to healing while simultaneously offering a new understanding of the long-lasting effects of grief. The profiles in PROJECT REBIRTH represent the most familiar faces of American life: a firefighter, a construction worker, a father, a teacher, a son. What sets them apart as survivors is the varying ways in which they make peace with their tragedy. Readers will meet:
• Tanya, a young woman who lost the love of her life and fiancé in the attacks. After struggling for years to overcome her feelings of helplessness and frustration, she is ultimately able to find a new love and life in motherhood.
• Nick, a teenager whose mother was killed on September 11th, and who for years pursued a career in the finance sector in an attempt to live out her dreams. Eventually he is able to come to terms with his loss, and accept that by following his own aspirations he is not diminishing his mother’s unfinished ones.
• Charles, an ordinary New Yorker whose dedication to his city and his neighbors prompted him to volunteer in the rescue and rebuilding effort. After helping to clean up the site, he chose to help victims of other tragedies, such as those affected by Hurricane Katrina, despite struggles with mounting health issues.
Citing analysis by psychologists, healers, and spiritual leaders, Stern and Martin illustrate through the profound experiences of these survivors that the healing process is one that is highly individualized. For some of the people documented in PROJECT REBIRTH, the only way forward is to immerse themselves in the rebuilding effort — whether that be by clearing the rubble of the World Trade Center or helping to build the Freedom Towers. Others find it impossible to remain in a place where they have experienced so much loss, and choose instead to leave New York City altogether to start a new life in a different place. Whatever path they chose, each survivor is proof that all of us have the capacity for resilience and recovery.
Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors
By Dr. Robin Stern and Courtney E. Martin
August 18, 2011 * $25.95 * ISBN: 978-0-525-95226-8
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