Distinguished author Jonathan Safran Foer to visit campus

Author of Eating Animals appears for the Assembly Series Sept. 30

With several awards to his credit — many for his first novel written at age 25 — and recently named by The New Yorker as one of the 20 best American writers under age 40, Jonathan Safran Foer enjoys a well-deserved reputation for being a literary wunderkind.


Primarily a novelist, Foer’s most recent book, Eating Animals, is part-memoir, part-expose exploring the reasons he is a vegetarian.

Eating Animals and Foer’s lifelong journey toward vegetarianism will be the subject of the author’s talk on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The lecture, sponsored by the Assembly Series, takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, in Graham Chapel.

A book signing will follow, in which Foer’s books will be available for purchase. The event, co-sponsored by University Libraries, the Campus Bookstore and the senior honorary Mortar Board, is free and open to the public.

During his senior year at Princeton University, under the tutelage of author Joyce Carol Oates, Foer wrote a thesis covering the life of his maternal grandfather and Holocaust survivor Louis Safran.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1999, he expanded on the thesis, eventually becoming the 2002 novel Everything Is Illuminated. His debut novel received the National Jewish Book Award and overwhelming positive reviews, such as Travis Elborough’s of Amazon.com:

“Safran Foer is an extremely funny as well as intelligent writer who combines some of the best Jewish folk yarns since Isaac Bashevis Singer with a quite heartbreaking meditation on love, friendship, and loss,” Elborough wrote.

His second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, was published in 2005 and also earned critical and popular praise. The story is set during the 9/11 tragedy and told from the vantage point of a young boy whose father died in the World Trade Center.

Eating Animals, published in 2009, is Foer’s third book. Now out in paperback, the nonfiction book is a departure from his earlier work as a novelist. But together with numerous short stories, reviews, opinions and essays, Foer’s oeuvre represents a broad range of literary styles and interests.

For more information on this event or other Assembly Series programs, visit the website at assemblyseries.wustl.edu or call (314) 935-4620.