Rebeccah is in the second semester of her Masters degree. Originally from Pasadena, Newfoundland, she did her undergraduate degree at Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook and Memorial.
I’ve just finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s debut novel, Everything is Illuminated, and my only complaint is that I didn’t read it sooner. Given the fact that I wrote my undergraduate thesis on postmodern holocaust narratives, I was fully expecting to be captivated by this novel. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was that it would be so incredibly hilarious. Everything is Illuminated centers around two young men: Jonathan Safran Foer, an American who has traveled to the Ukraine in search of the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, and Alex Perchov, his Ukrainian translator and tour guide. The novel alternates between three narrative strands: Alex’s re-telling of his journey with Jonathan, Alex’s letters to Jonathan afterwards, and the magic-realist stories that Jonathan has written about his Ukrainian ancestors. Both Alex’s narrative and his letters to Jonathan are written in Alex’s hilariously flawed English, and require the reader himself to become a sort of translator, mimicking the difficulty of constructing narratives around traumatic events such as the Holocaust. Despite the comic relief that Alex’s diction provides, the story remains an incredibly moving portrayal of these two young men’s journey towards an understanding of their family histories.
One band that’s been getting a lot of time on my ipod lately is the Icelandic indie-pop group Of Monsters and Men. The best way to describe their music would be to say that if Florence + The Machine and Mumford and Sons had a love child, it would be Of Monsters and Men. They only have a four-song EP released so far, but their full-length album, My Head is An Animal, is scheduled to be released in North America in early April.