New Safran Foer novel based on life-changing summer camp event


Bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer’s third novel is scheduled to release some time this year and it’s based on a life-changing event that happened to the author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as a nine-year-old at summer camp.

The working title for the book is Escape from Children’s Hospital and it’s:

A fictionalised account of a life-changing event that happened to the author as a nine-year-old – an explosion in a summer camp science class, which left his best friend without skin on his face or hands, and whose brunt the author avoided by inches and for no good reason – this is a story about the shared trauma of childhood, the potential destructiveness of storytelling, and the redemptive power of friendship. Weaving precariously between non-fiction and fiction, and existing at the intersection of different styles (suspense, memoir, imaginative storytelling), the book moves out from that moment in 1985 to the repercussions on the ever-expanding circle of those affected by it.


Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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