Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by Jonathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 368 pages

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Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the bestseller Everything is Illuminated (2002), which was published when he was 25 years old and won multiple awards, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005). He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

A movie of Everything Is Illuminated was planned for release in 2005 but appears to be still 'in production' with an estimated release date of 2007.

When Foer was 8 years old a failed science experiment caused an explosion that ripped through the classroom searing his hands and face; but his best friend's injuries were worse - Foer found him slumped against a wall with the skin peeling from his bloodied face. He recollects telling his friend exactly what his new face looked like and begging to know whether his own skin had been shredded. Until recently Foer says that he had never written about the event, 'literally, not a single word', yet he says that that day marked the end of his childhood and the start of his path to becoming a writer. Although he doesn't explicitly connect 'the Explosion' (as he calls it) to his writing, both novels do have central characters who repair their lives by returning to the scene where lives have previously been destroyed (the Holocaust and the World Trade Center).

He says, 'I write because I want to end my loneliness'..

Interesting Link
The author's somewhat cryptic website.

An 8 minute video clip of Foer discussing Extremely Loud. It takes a bit of time to load but is interesting to watch, if only because it shows that extraordinary brains can be housed in the most seemingly ordinary of humans!

This article was originally published in April 2005, and has been updated for the April 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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