Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center. An inspired creation, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search.
Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone’s heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who’ve lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of characters who are all survivors in their own way. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close boldly approaches history and tragedy with humor, tenderness, and awe.
Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977 in Washington, D.C., and earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University. His debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated, began as a thesis at Princeton under advisers Joyce Carol Oates and Jeffrey Eugenides. It was named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and was the winner of numerous awards. Foer was one of Rolling Stone‘s “People of the Year” and Esquire‘s “Best and Brightest.” Foer’s second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, was published in 2005. Like Everything is Illuminated, it has met with both acclaim and controversy since its release. He is also the author of Eating Animals and Tree of Codes. Foer lives with his wife, writer Nicole Krauss, in Brooklyn, New York.