“City of Dust” Author at Watchung Tonight

One of the most indelible images of 9/11 for me was the picture of Chelsea Jeans in Lower Manhattan caked in thick dust. For Montclair’s Anthony DePalma it was a similar picture: a photograph by Edward Keating of an elegant tea service, left on a table in an empty apartment near Ground Zero, caked in a “skintight layer of dust.” “The fancy china had no direct connection to the events of that day before the first plane struck,” writes DePalma, in his new book, City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance and 9/11. “And yet it had been enveloped in a supple coating of death and destruction that transformed it from a treasured implement of daily life to an artifact of a moment of death.” For four years, DePalma, as a reporter for The New York Times, wrote about that dust — its environmental, health and legal implications. In “City of Dust,” he puts together the whole story, from the rush of rescue workers to the pile in the hours after the towers collapsed to the years of recriminations and lawsuits. Tonight (9/16) at 7 p.m., DePalma, now writer-in-residence at Seton Hall University, reads from his book at Watchung Booksellers, 54 Fairfield Street, Montclair.

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