This dazzling debut from the 24-year-old Foer explores the dark legacy of World War II in Eastern Europe while recounting the quest of a smart young Jewish American (named Jonathan Safran Foer). Accompanied by Alex, his Ukrainian translator, a scrappy dog named Sammy Davis Jr. and Alex’s grandfather, Foer travels to Eastern Europe in search of the woman who rescued his own grandfather from the Nazis. Alex narrates the bulk of the book through a series of letters written in fragmented English and filled with his unworldly, often hilarious observations. Foer fills in the rest with a detailed historical portrait of Jewish life in the Ukraine before the Germans invaded. A smart, humorous tribute to Jewish history and culture, this best-selling novel is the work of a whiz-kid.
April 08, 2003