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A Widow's Walk: A Memoir of 9/11

A Widow's Walk: A Memoir of 9/11

Monday, September 12, 2005

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by Science & the City


Speaker: Marian Fontana, author, and founder of the 9/11 Widows and Victims Family Association
Discussant: Sandro Galea, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Since September 11, 2001, any discussion of posttraumatic stress would be incomplete without acknowledging the psychological consequences of that day. More than a half-million New Yorkers suffered symptoms of the disorder in the year following 9/11, according to the Center for Urban Epidemiological Studies.

During a three-day New York Academy of Sciences symposium on the psychobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Marian Fontana will read from her book A Widow’s Walk, her memoir of the year following 9/11, and a dedication to her husband, Dave, a firefighter with Park Slope’s elite Squad 1, who was among the 2,749 people who died at the World Trade Center that day. Marian, who became president of the 9/11 Widows and Victims Family Association, recounts bittersweet memories while attending numerous wakes and funerals, political meetings, and coping with parenting her five-year-old son. Through her agonizing grief, the author's irrepressible humor is her best armor and evidence of her buoyant strength.

Fontana's candid and absorbing account of that year does not dwell on the psychological effects of 9/11, but it is impossible to ignore the symptoms of PTSD evident in characters throughout the book—surviving firefighters and rescue workers, widows, family members, and friends.

Following the reading, medical epidemiologist Sandro Galea, who studied PTSD in New York after 9/11, will lead a discussion.

This event is free.