Signed Edition Sweepstakes
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.95
List price: $15.99
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z
9 Burnside Literature- A to Z
4 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z
29 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Everything Is Illuminated

by

Everything Is Illuminated Cover

 

Awards

2002 Guardian First Book Award
A New York Times Notable Book for 2002

Staff Pick


Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Foer exquisitely executes the book's best jokes: the way that Jonathan's minor flaws — his vanity, his American cluelessness, his tendency to patronize — filter through Alex's admiring portrait of the young man he calls his 'most premium friend' and 'the hero.' As the novel shades inexorably into the tragic mode, and as Alex comes to be a much better writer than Jonathan, with both a finer sense of truth and a more urgent understanding of the need for happy endings, his stumbling English incandesces into eloquence. And that alone is worth the price of admission." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Everything Is Illuminated is Jonathan Safran Foer's remarkable debut novel, the story of a young writer named Jonathan Safran Foer traveling in Eastern Europe to find out more about his family's history and its possible connection to (and escape from) the Holocaust. The stories are told through the intertwining voices of Alex, Foer's Ukrainian translator, driver, and general cultural companion, and Foer's novelization of the story of his grandparents. Although Foer's story is moving and intriguing, blending history and fable, Alex's hilarious voice (both archaically formal and littered with pop culture idioms) steals the show. As the novel progresses, however, Alex's rocky English steadily improves, just as his worldview matures into something more tragic and complex. A sharp, startling new voice from an intelligent and passionate young writer, Everything Is Illuminated prompted Adrienne Miller of Esquire to proclaim "One of the most impressive first novels in a long time....[T]his book is, as its name implies, brilliant." Jill, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

Exuberant and wise, hysterically funny and deeply moving, Everything Is Illuminated is an astonishing tour de force. In the summer after his junior year of college, a writer — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — journeys to the farmlands of eastern Europe. Armed with only a yellowing photograph, he sets out to find Augustine, the woman who might or might not be a link to the grandfather he never knew — the woman who, he has been told, saved his grandfather from the Nazis.

Guided by the unforgettable Alex, his young Ukrainian translator, who writes in a sublimely butchered English, an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, and an old man haunted by his memories of the war, Jonathan is led on a quixotic search across a devastated landscape and back into an unexpected past. Braided into this story is the novel Jonathan is writing, a magical fable of his grandfather's village in Ukraine, a tapestry of startling symmetries that unite generations across time. In a counterpoint of voices blending high comedy and deep tragedy, the search moves back in time, the fantastical history moves forward, and they meet in a heart-stopping scene of extraordinary power.

Passionate, wildly inventive, and marked by an indelible humanity, Everything Is Illuminated mines the black holes of history and is ultimately a story about searching: for people and places that no longer exist, for the hidden truths that haunt every family, and for the delicate but necessary tales that link past and future.

Review:

"Comedy and pathos are braided together with extraordinary skill in a haunting debut." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[A]n inventive but immature fictional excursion, sometimes pleasant, sometimes just pretentious....Much of the novel's humor derives from Alexander's fractured English and his posturing antics. That humor, though bought rather cheaply, is deft, but the too frequent flights of lyricism stink of affectation....[N]ot surprisingly, [the Holocaust] proves to be too big a subject for [Foer's] undeveloped talent." Brooke Allen, Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"One of the most impressive first novels in a long time....[T]his book is, as its name implies, brilliant." Adrienne Miller, Esquire

Review:

"It's hard to get through the first chapters of Everything Is Illuminated. The problem is, you keep laughing out loud, losing your place, starting again, then stopping because you're tempted to call your friends and read them long sections of Jonathan Safran Foer's assured, hilarious prose....Everything Is Illuminated is endearing, accomplished and (to quote Alex one last time) definitely premium." Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Generations become united across time in this fanciful tale, as Foer, the author, gives the reader a contemporary version of 19th-century Jewish drama — one that blends laughter and tears." Library Journal

Review:

"Foer has written a glittering first novel...with great humor, sympathy, charm and daring. Every page is illuminated." Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Middlesex

Review:

"Extraordinarily gifted...this young man also happens to possess something approaching wisdom. Don't just check him out. Read him." Russell Banks, author of The Sweet Hereafter

Review:

"A zestfully imagined novel of wonders both magical and mundane....He will win your admiration, and he will break your heart." Joyce Carol Oates, author of We Were the Mulvaneys

Synopsis:

With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.

Synopsis:

A writer journeys to the farmlands of eastern Europe to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Passionate and marked by an indelible humanity, Everything Is Illuminated mines the black holes of history and is ultimately a story about searching: for people and places that no longer exist and for the tales that link past and future.

About the Author

Jonathan Safran Foer was born in 1977 in Washington, D.C. He is the editor of the anthology A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by the Work of Joseph Cornell, a Book Sense 76 selection and a Boston Globe bestseller. His stories have been published in the Paris Review and Conjunctions. Jonathan traveled to the Ukraine four years ago to research his grandfather's life. This is his first novel, parts of which appeared in The New Yorker.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 12 comments:

lukas, October 29, 2013 (view all comments by lukas)
I have a passionate, possibly irrational hatred of this book. Here's Triumph the Insult Dog's review: "Everything is illuminated. . .for me to poop on!"
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Tori, July 8, 2010 (view all comments by Tori)
I can't really describe what this book did to me, but it comes close to heartbreak and revelation.

I loved these characters wholeheartedly and I wanted to step inside the book so I could hug each one.

Jonathan Safran Foer has done something incredible and taken history, family, and love to a place that is at once wonderful but soul-tearing.

Absolutely one of my all-time favorites.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
basyl, January 21, 2010 (view all comments by basyl)
i read the book after watching the movie, rather than vice versa. the imagery and storytelling is totally captivating and strange.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 12 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060529703
Author:
Foer, Jonathan Safran
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
Jonathan Safran Foer
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Grandfathers
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Ukraine
Subject:
Novelists
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Jewish fiction.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
CM-8
Publication Date:
April 1, 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.09x5.32x.70 in. .49 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Atonement
    Used Trade Paper $0.95
  2. Middlesex
    Used Trade Paper $2.50
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close:...
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. Twelve Used Hardcover $0.99
  5. Life of Pi
    Used Mass Market $3.50
  6. Strange Fire Sale Trade Paper $1.00

Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » New Yorker 20 under 40
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Featured Titles

Everything Is Illuminated Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060529703 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"Review A Day" by , "Foer exquisitely executes the book's best jokes: the way that Jonathan's minor flaws — his vanity, his American cluelessness, his tendency to patronize — filter through Alex's admiring portrait of the young man he calls his 'most premium friend' and 'the hero.' As the novel shades inexorably into the tragic mode, and as Alex comes to be a much better writer than Jonathan, with both a finer sense of truth and a more urgent understanding of the need for happy endings, his stumbling English incandesces into eloquence. And that alone is worth the price of admission." (read the entire Salon review)
"Review" by , "Comedy and pathos are braided together with extraordinary skill in a haunting debut."
"Review" by , "[A]n inventive but immature fictional excursion, sometimes pleasant, sometimes just pretentious....Much of the novel's humor derives from Alexander's fractured English and his posturing antics. That humor, though bought rather cheaply, is deft, but the too frequent flights of lyricism stink of affectation....[N]ot surprisingly, [the Holocaust] proves to be too big a subject for [Foer's] undeveloped talent."
"Review" by , "One of the most impressive first novels in a long time....[T]his book is, as its name implies, brilliant."
"Review" by , "It's hard to get through the first chapters of Everything Is Illuminated. The problem is, you keep laughing out loud, losing your place, starting again, then stopping because you're tempted to call your friends and read them long sections of Jonathan Safran Foer's assured, hilarious prose....Everything Is Illuminated is endearing, accomplished and (to quote Alex one last time) definitely premium."
"Review" by , "Generations become united across time in this fanciful tale, as Foer, the author, gives the reader a contemporary version of 19th-century Jewish drama — one that blends laughter and tears."
"Review" by , "Foer has written a glittering first novel...with great humor, sympathy, charm and daring. Every page is illuminated."
"Review" by , "Extraordinarily gifted...this young man also happens to possess something approaching wisdom. Don't just check him out. Read him."
"Review" by , "A zestfully imagined novel of wonders both magical and mundane....He will win your admiration, and he will break your heart."
"Synopsis" by , With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.
"Synopsis" by , A writer journeys to the farmlands of eastern Europe to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Passionate and marked by an indelible humanity, Everything Is Illuminated mines the black holes of history and is ultimately a story about searching: for people and places that no longer exist and for the tales that link past and future.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.