EAST LANSING, Mich. — Community members can meet Jonathan Safran Foer, The New York Times bestselling author of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” as he kicks off the 2011 One Book, One Community (OBOC) program with a special visit to the East Lansing-Michigan State University community Aug. 28-29.
This year’s program will simultaneously celebrate the 10th anniversary of OBOC, while also paying tribute to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.
Foer’s Visit to East Lansing
There are a number of opportunities for community members to catch Foer’s visit to East Lansing:
- Meet Johnathan Safran Foer in person at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28 at the East Lansing High School auditorium, 509 Burcham Drive. Admission to the kickoff is FREE and attendees will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.
- Foer will speak to incoming MSU students on Monday, Aug. 29 at 9 a.m. at the Breslin Student Events Center. It’s free and open to the public.
- Foer’s Aug. 28 visit will be recorded and rerun on East Lansing’s government channel, Channel 22 (WELG). Air times will be Sundays and Mondays at noon and 8 p.m. from Sept. 2-26.
- A recording of Foer’s Aug. 28 visit will be made available to borrow at the East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road, beginning Friday, Sept. 2.
Community & Campus Events, Aug. 28-Sept. 29
A series of community and campus events centered on the themes of this year’s book will take place Aug. 28-Sept. 29. Events will include a MSU Department of Theatre production, an Oskar-inspired Scavenger Hunt, public film showings, a New York Wine Dinner, a writing workshop, one-on-one book discussions and other related events. Visit www.onebookeastlansing.com to view the full calendar of events.
About the Author
Jonathan Safran Foer is best known for his bestselling novels “Everything Is Illuminated” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” as well as his non-fiction book, “Eating Animals.” A film adaptation of “Everything Is Illuminated,” starring Elijah Wood, was released in 2005 and a film adaptation of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, will be released in 2012.
About the Book
Foer’s wildly lauded novel tells the story of young Oskar Schell’s hilarious and heartbreaking search to make sense of the death of his father in the World Trade Center on 9/11. One year after his father’s death, grief stricken, but undaunted, the nine-year-old boy sets out on an odyssey across the five boroughs of New York City to find the lock that matches a mysterious key found in his father’s closet.
It’s not often a reader encounters a character quite like Oskar. He is engaging, endearing, exasperating, precocious, irritating and highly imaginative, as well as a sweetly suffering little boy who remembers his father as only a lonely child can. Along the way Oskar meets an assortment of New York City characters that show him compassion and encouragement. Oskar’s story is not about 9/11 itself; it’s about the consequences of that terrible terrorist act on those who survived. It is also a reflection of history repeating itself, as seen through the parallel suffering of Oskar’s grandparents, who survived the firebombing of Dresden during World War ll.
Foer incorporates interconnecting storylines, photographs, drawings and a 14-page flip book to tell the story. While the 9/11 tragedy is the backdrop of this story, its universal theme is war and its inevitable feeling of loss, pain and suffering. Foer captures this theme with a writing style that is compassionate, while at the same time humorous.
About the Program
The annual One Book, One Community program, sponsored by the City of East Lansing and Michigan State University, encourages the city-university community to read the same book and come together to discuss it in a variety of settings. The book is an assigned reading for all incoming MSU freshmen. Visit www.onebookeastlansing.com to learn more.
© 2010 City of East Lansing & MSU