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#VelshiBannedBookClub: Safran Foer on “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” 


“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” follows 9-year-old Oskar as he searches for answers after his father’s death in the September 11th attacks. It is part of a new literary canon of 9/11 literature – books used to dissect the trauma from that day. At its core, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” is a story about grief. The singular, all-encompassing abandonment that only the death of a parent can create, and the shared, bewildering cataclysm that was and continues to be 9/11. Oskar is mourning the loss of his dad and the gaping hole in his city -- his home. For Oskar and the United States as a whole, 9/11 meant a loss of innocence, a shattering of safety, and a visceral reminder of mortality. “The point is not to create definitive versions. The point is to metabolize. That’s what literature does. And frankly, that’s what the conversations about literature should be doing,” says Safran Foer. “We live in an incredibly problematic, scary, oftentimes tragic, oftentimes really beautiful world.”