Foer Jonathan Safran
Everything is Illuminated
Santrauka: Sąmojingas ir nuoširdus pasakojimas apie Ukrainos miestelio žydų bendruomenės gyvenimą ir žūtį. / A young American Jew, who shares a name with the author, journeys to Ukraine in search of Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather's life during the Nazi liquidation of Trachimbrod, his family shtetl. Armed with many copies of an old photograph of Augustine and his grandfather, maps, cigarettes, and a fanny pack filled with Ziploc bags, Jonathan begins his adventure with Ukrainian native and soon-to-be good friend, Alexander "Alex" Perchov, who is his own age and very fond of American pop culture, albeit culture that is already out of date in the U.S. Alex has studied English at his university and is "premium" in his knowledge of the language, therefore he becomes the translator. Alex's "blind" grandfather and his "deranged seeing-eye bitch," Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr., accompany them on their journey. The writing and structure received critical acclaim for the manner in which it switches between two story arcs: (1) fragments of Foer-the-character's novel-in-progress, where he tells in highly literary English a quasi-magical story about the citizens of Trachimbrod; and (2) a straightforward narrative of searching for Trachimbrod (an invented name for the real village Trochenbrod), as told by Alex in broken English. They are tied together by letters sent from Alex to Foer and attached to Alex's version. Alex's narrative is most notable for its broken English, which sounds as if he learned English from a thesaurus without ever hearing it spoken. Throughout his narrative, he makes frequent use of improper synonyms, such as using the word rigid to mean "difficult" or "hard".