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A Conversation with Jonathan Safran Foer, April 8

The best-selling author of Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer will discuss and sign his latest book, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, in an on-stage interview with PBS TV’s Jeffrey Brown on Friday, April 8, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Miller Theatre.

Free tickets are available via telephone or in person at Miller Theatre Box Office, located at 2960 Broadway at 116 Street. The box office, which can be reached at (212) 854-7799, is open Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on weekends. Limit two tickets per person. Reservations strongly advised. The event is sponsored by the University Arts Initiative.

Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut, Everything Is Illuminated. The novel was named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and won numerous other awards, including the Guardian First Book Prize, the National Jewish Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Prize.

Now, with humor, tenderness and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination. The book’s main character, Oskar Schell, is an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist and correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is also 9 years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

An inspired innocent, 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 dreams up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. As Oskar roams, he encounters a motley assortment of people who are all survivors in their own way: a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar’s journey ends where it began, but as befits a story about loss and survival, the journey is itself redemptive.

The University Arts Initiative works to find innovative ways of linking the arts and liberal arts education. Director Gregory Mosher identifies and examines opportunities to connect the arts to all academic fields of study at the University and to identify projects in which the arts can highlight and illuminate intellectual endeavors. The initiative also manages University arts productions by exploring and vetting various possible projects and then overseeing the implementation of those productions.

Published: Apr 07, 2005
Last modified: Apr 07, 2005

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