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  Home > Books > History > Holocaust & Anti-Semitism >

Everything Is Illuminated
Everything Is Illuminated
 
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Jonathan Safran Foer

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin



Twenty-four-year-old Jonathan Safran Foer, a grandchild of survivors, deals with the legacy of Holocaust memory in his debut novel.

As a college student, Foer traveled to the Ukraine to find the gentile woman who may have saved his grandfather. Poorly prepared for the trip, he discovers nothing; the town no longer exists. Still, the experience was powerful enough to inspire this fictional creation of the trip he wished had happened.

His novel contains three alternating running narratives: The first--and most entertaining--is the saga of his misadventures in the Ukraine, narrated in hilarious broken English by Alexander Perchov, the cocky and confident twenty-year-old Ukrainian guide who accompanies him. More challenging are the author's imaginative reconstructions of his grandfather's shtetl, Trachimbrod, written in the style of magical realism. But the most poignant sections, leading to the novel's powerful climax, are found in Alex's letters to the author, where he describes the impact of this memory-trip on himself and his Ukrainian family. - Reform Jeudaism Magazine

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