Everything is Illuminated follows Jonathan, a fictional young man named after the author, on a quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. When he arrives in Ukraine, he is greeted by his translator Alex, whose lack of English mastery is made up for by his hilarious gaffes; Alex’s grandfather, who is haunted by the war; and a dog named Sammy Davis Jr., Jr. As they delve into Jonathan’s family history, they make unexpected discoveries.
“Fearing his frequent deficiencies in memory, he began writing fragments of his life story on his bedroom ceiling with one of Brod’s lipsticks that he found wrapped in a sock in her desk drawer. This way, his life would be the first thing he would see when he awoke each morning, and the last thing before going to sleep each night. You used to be married, but she left you, above his bureau. You hate green vegetables, at the far end of the ceiling. You are a sloucher, where the ceiling met the door. You don’t believe in the afterlife, written in a circle around the hanging lamp.”
Jonathan Safran Foer is an American author of novels, short stories, and non-fiction. His works include Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Eating Animals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches writing at New York University.
Length: 276 pages
Set in: Ukraine
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