Monday, April 16, 2012

by Robin Gaby Fisher and Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr.

She would make a name for herself not only as a victim, but as a hero and a celebrity. Two years after September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center Survivors' Network was born. The mouthpiece of this organization was a woman by the name of Tania Head. She led the group taking on the responsibility of bringing them to the public eye by saving remnants of the World Trade Center, such as the "Survivors Stairway," taking people on tours of Ground Zero, funding events by using her own assets. Tania was chosen, actually, to do all of this because her story was deemed much more powerful than all of the survivors combined. (She had escaped the south tower from the seventy-eight floor.) Tania was everyone's idol and mentor. She helped them deal with their stress, depression, and nightmares.
Tania's story began to fall apart in 2007 with discrepancies that didn't match up. She avoided reporters like the plague and when the New York Times tried to wrangle an interview with her, she kept on refusing to meet with them. At last, the article was printed (she never spoke to the reporter) and it sent shock waves throughout the country and the world.
What a disturbing tale. It's a quick read (I finished the book in a day and a half) unable to put it down. The story comes off like a mystery novel except that everything is true. One of the authors, Anthony J. Guglielmo, Jr., made a documentary and was, at one time, Tania's closest friend.
What she did was horrendous and broke the spirits of all that were mentally and physically inspired by her.
Until the last page, you will be shaking your head in disbelief.
Highly recommended.