Sunday, February 27, 2005

Jonathan Safron Foer: Update on New Book

Today's New York Times Magazine has a long article on Jonathan Saron Foer, the brilliant novelist who wrote Everything Is Illuminated. It's a funny interview -- he's an amazingly articulate, insightful guy considering he's like 27 -- and we learn some things about the new book:

Foer's second novel, ''Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,'' will be published in about a month. It shifts his landscape from the wounded earth of Eastern Europe to a fresher site of devastation. The book's main narrator is Oskar Schell, a 9-year-old schoolboy whose father was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center. An aspiring inventor, Oskar consoles himself by thinking up far-fetched creations that could protect people from all sorts of injury. In the process, he becomes a kind of artist, someone whose dreams are so romantic that they are destined to failure. Oskar's creativity is echoed in the design of the novel, a highly experimental affair that draws upon photographs and typographical play in an attempt to blur the old boundaries between image and text. ''It's the kind of book that will look great next to the toilet,'' Foer said jokingly, in response to a compliment about the novel's appearance.

I heard a reading of the first chapter at the New Yorker Festival last year, and it was great. This is probably my most-anticipated new book of 2005...


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