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Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer (both the author's and main character's name) is a writer who goes to the Ukraine to visit his Jewish roots and find the family that saved his grandfather from the Nazis. His tour guide and translator is Alexander Perchov, although Alex's translations are often a hilarious mangling of the English language. Three narratives run throughout the book, Foer's history of his family in the small village in the first half of the century, Alex's recollection of the time spent with Foer in the Ukraine, and Foer's attempt to understand the truth about his grandfather's past. This novel has generated many glowing reviews. The Washington Post says Everything is Illuminated "is madly complex, at times confusing, overlapping, unforgiving. But read it, and you'll feel altered, chastened -- seared in the fire of something new."