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Citywide Reads 2006 Chooses 9/11 Novel:

Santa Monica’s Citywide Reads 2006 book will be young American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer’s mosr recent book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which focuses on the 9/11 attacks as seen through the eyes of a nine year-old.

Citywide Reads 2006 will run from April 3 to May 6. In addition to the usual round of book discussions, it will feature programs on the future of fiction and the United States post-9/11, and a staged verbatim adaptation of the novel by the American Place Theatre is being planned.

The book’s author, Foer, will appear at a reading on Sunday, April 23, at Santa Monica College.

Published in the spring of this year by Houghton Mifflin, Extremely Loud follows nine-year-old Oskar’s effort to learn more about a key found in his dead father’s closet after 9/11.

Foer’s previous novel, Everything Is Illuminated, won the National Jewish Book Award and was the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The mission of Citywide Reads, according to a Santa Monica Library spokesperson, is “to encourage a culture of reading and to promote book-centered dialogue in Santa Monica.”

Begun in 2003, the first Citywide Reads book was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie. The Berlin Stories, by Christopher Isherwood, was the 2004 selection, which was followed by Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner in 2005.In addition, programs on the future of fiction, the United States post-9/11, and a professionally staged verbatim adaptation of the novel with the American Place Theatre, are being planned.

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