Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist born to a Jewish family. His father, Albert Foer, was a lawyer and his mother, Esther Safran Foer was a Polish-born businesswoman. Jonathan is a middle-child, younger brother of Franklin Foer, the former editor of the politics and culture magazine The New Republic, and older brother of Joshua, a freelance journalist. Because both of his brothers are involved in writing in some form, that greatly influenced his decision to become a writer. He was born on February 21, 1977 in Washington DC. He now teaches at New York University, and lives in Brooklyn. Foer attended Princeton University in New Jersey, where he studied philosophy. It was while at Princeton that Foer was able to take an introductory writing course under the instruction of novelist Joyce Carol Oates. Oates noted Foer’s talent at an early stage, informing him that he had the most important quality needed for writing: energy. Foer later said that Oates was the first person to ever make him interested in a writing as a serious career option. In a turn of luck, Oates was assigned to be Foer’s advisor for his senior thesis, in which he explored the life of his maternal granddad and Holocaust survivor, Louis Safran. Foer was awarded Princeton’s Senior Creative Writing Thesis Prize for his work. Foer has stated that most of the book was composed in the New York Public Library, at coffee shops and in the homes of friends. “There’s something about being out in public and open to the accidents of the world that can be very useful in writing,” “I like keeping the environments fresh; it somehow keeps the imagination fresh.” Foer’s use of being at these places while writing makes the setting more realistic as throughout the book, Foer is able to capture the News York dialect, being in the library he would be able to hear the daily conversations and input them into the novel. The greatest inspiration for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was the 9/11 terrorist attacks, where planes were crashed into the world trade center. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a direct response to the attack and focuses on the aftermath of that day and those who lost their lives.