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"Tree of Codes" is a haunting new story by best-selling American writer, Jonathan Safran Foer. With a different die-cut on every page, "Tree of Codes" explores previously unchartered literary territory. Initially deemed impossible to make, the book is a first -- as much a sculptural object as it is a work of masterful storytelling. "Tree of Codes" is the story of an enormous last day of life -- as one character''s life is chased to extinction, Foer multi-layers the story with immense, anxious, at times disorientating imagery, crossing both a sense of time and place, making the story of one person''s last day everyone''s story. Inspired to exhume a new story from an existing text, Jonathan Safran Foer has taken his "favorite" book, "The Street of Crocodiles" by Polish-Jewish writer Bruno Schulz, and used it as a canvas, cutting into and out of the pages, to arrive at an original new story told in Jonathan Safran Foer''s own acclaimed voice.
Jonathan Safran Foer burst into the literary world in 2002 with his novel EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED. The novel is narrated by an American Jew named Jonathan who has traveled to the Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather's life during World War II, with a linguistically challenged Ukrainian who acts as his guide. The novel was praised by such literary luminaries as John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates (with whom Foer had studied at Princeton), Salman Rushdie, and the notoriously prickly critic Dale Peck. The film was made into a film starring Elijah Wood. Foer's second novel, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, one of the first novels to deal extensively with the fallout of September 11, follows a precocious boy as he wanders New York City after his father dies in the terrorist attacks. The critics were not as kind with this effort, accusing Foer of postmodern trickery and inordinate preciousness, but both books have sold extremely well for works of literary fiction, and Foer is still considered one of the most exciting and daring young writers in America. He collaborated with Dave Eggers on THE FUTURE DICTIONARY OF AMERICA. Foer lives in Brooklyn and is married to the novelist Nicole Krauss.
From the Publisher
Jonathan Safran Foer is not so much author as editor, or redactor, of TREE OF CODES, an unusual book that is really a of collage of absences made by removing words, lines, passages, and in the title, letters, from Bruno Schulz's THE STREET OF CROCODILES. With the missing bits physically cut out of the paper pages, the body of the novel is so full of rectangular holes and obstructions that reading becomes an act of looking into the future, or down a well. From this technique, Foer draws a multilayered resonance out of the story of a boy's childhood memories in prewar Poland, in which flipping back and forth is as much a part of the text as are the words.