The Haggadah, the Jewish religious text read at Passover, is 3,000 years old. It has been translated more than any Jewish book, from ancient times, to 14th-century Sarajevo, to the just-published "New American Haggadah." Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander have constructed a new Haggadah, religious, yet modern, for the American Jews of their generation.
Our summer book club continues today with host John Hockenberry's first pick for August. John sees summer reading as an opportunity for challenge. He spent one summer reading the Russian literature, and the following summer he devoted his reading to Charles Dickens. This summer, as the tenth anniversary of September 11 approaches, John decided it was time to tackle a few of the recent novels that deal with that tragic day. His first pick is Jonathan Safran Foer’s "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." The novel follows nine-year-old Oskar Schell in the years after his father dies in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Foer sat down with John to discuss his 2005 novel.
J.D. Salinger, author of "The Catcher in the Rye," died yesterday at age 91. The critically acclaimed novel about teenage angst shocked and inspired the world of literature for decades, while its author refused interviews and eventually withdrew to a small town in New Hampshire.