Jonathan Safran Foer
“Dazzling and draining, dazzling and draining—that’s how my response seesawed for most of the time I was reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s new novel . . . Here I Am is a profound novel about the claims of history, identity, family and the burdens of a broken world that weigh upon even the most cleverly evasive people.”—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR
In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” before ordering him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” before asking him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Here I Am—his first novel in eleven years. Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia Bloch and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the meaning of home—and the fundamental question of how much aliveness one can bear.
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of two bestselling, award-winning novels, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and a bestselling work of nonfiction, Eating Animals. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Beyond the Book
Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook!