De Amerikaanse schrijfster en journaliste Amy Waldman werd geboren op 21 mei 1969 in Los Angeles. Waldman studeerde aan de Yale University en werkte daarna acht jaar voor de New York Times. Aanvankelijk werkte ze als verslaggever voor de New York stadsdelen Brooklyn en Bronx en de wijk Harlem. Verder schreef zij over de impact van de terreur aanslagen van 11 september 2001. Daarna bracht ze drie jaar door op de kantoren van de krant in New Delhi in India. Na haar terugkeer naar de VS was Waldman onder meer correspondent van het tijdschrift The Atlantic. Ze was een Fellow van het Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study aan de Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts) en in 2010 Fellow van de American Academy in Berlijn. Waldmans eerste roman “The Submission” gaat over de nasleep van 11 september 2001 en beschrijft de reacties nadat een moslim architect via een anonieme inschrijving een competitie voor een monument op Ground Zero won . Het boek verscheen in 2011 in het Engels en werd in hetzelfde jaar meerdere malen bekroond.
Uit: The Submission
"The names," Claire said. "What about the names?"
"They're a record, not a gesture," the sculptor replied. Ariana's words brought nods from the other artists, the critic, and the two purveyors of public art arrayed along the dining table, united beneath her sway. She was the jury's most famous figure, its dominant personality, Claire's biggest problem.
Ariana had seated herself at the head of the table, as if she were presiding. For the previous four months they had deliberated at a table that had no head, being round. It was in an office suite high above the gouged earth, and there the other jurors had deferred to the widow's desire to sit with her back to the window, so that the charnel ground below was only a gray blur when Claire walked to her chair. But tonight the jury was gathered, for its last arguments, at Gracie Mansion's long table. Ariana, without consultation or, it appeared, compunction, had taken pride of place, giving notice of her intent to prevail.
"The names of the dead are expected; required, in fact, by the competition rules," she continued. For such a scouring woman, her voice was honeyed. "In the right memorial, the names won't be the source of the emotion."
"They will for me," Claire said tightly, taking some satisfaction in the downcast eyes and guilty looks along the table. They'd all lost, of course--lost the sense that their nation was invulnerable; lost their city's most recognizable icons; maybe lost friends or acquaintances. But only she had lost her husband.
She wasn't above reminding them of that tonight, when they would at last settle on the memorial. They had winnowed five thousand entries, all anonymous, down to two. The final pruning should have beeneasy. But after three hours of talk, two rounds of voting, and too much wine from the mayor's private reserve, the conversation had turned ragged, snappish, repetitive. The Garden was too beautiful, Ariana and the other artists kept saying of Claire's choice. They saw for a living, yet when it came to the Garden they wouldn't see what she saw.”
Amy Waldman (Los Angeles, 21 mei 1969)