Jonathan Safran Foer
(Washington, 1977) One of the most influential and controversial American writers of today. He made his debut in 2002 with Everything is Illuminated, an adaptation of his Master's thesis about the life of his Ukrainian grandfather, a Holocaust survivor. The book won several prizes and was made into a film by Liv Schreiber. Foer's second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) about nine year old Oskar whose father died in the attack on the World Trade Centre, was called 'the work of a genius' by the Times because of the original writing techniques and unique presentation with visual elements like pictures and maps. Both books became international bestsellers and Warner Bros and Paramount have bought the film rights of his last novel. In November 2009 Eating Animals appeared, a book in which vegetarian and philosopher Foer takes a closer look at people's eating habits.
Archive available for: Jonathan Safran Foer
Whether literature offers solace or confusion, whether it shows the way or disorders, every writer must have been moved in the course of his or her life by a passage, a line, an image or a poem which gave direction to his or her life. Was it a boys' book? A text on a tile? A column? Or rather that highly valued, often quoted passage from world literature? Jonathan Safran Foer, Tash Aw, Ramsey Nasr, Joke van Leeuwen and Petina Gappah read those passages that changed their lives for good, and reveal what happened to them when they read those lines for the first time. The programme starts with a reading from his work by the Iranian author Shahriar Mandanipour.
'The message is that you need borders and restrictions the experience freedom'. These are words of Jonathan Safran Foer (US) in a recent interview in a Dutch weekly. Foer, who opens the evening on rules and disorder, is like no other able to bring a story into existence from seemingly unrelated fragments. How does he do that? Is writing for him a way to create order in today's chaotic reality? What are his views on the idea that a writer should confuse the reader? Is this a misunderstanding from the past century that should be disposed of as soon as possible? Journalist Wim Brands talks to Foer about chaos and rules and about the social role that literature can play. Foers latest book, Eating Animals, on vegetarianism, suggests that Foer sees an important role for himself in this respect. In English