For a long time, longer than anyone in the newspaper business has been alive in fact, print journalism has been intertwined with these economics. The expense of printing created an environment where Wal-Mart was willing to subsidize the Baghdad bureau. This wasn’t because of any deep link between advertising and reporting, nor was it about any real desire on the part of Wal-Mart to have their marketing budget go to international correspondents. It was just an accident. Advertisers had little choice other than to have their money used that way, since they didn’t really have any other vehicle for display ads.
Everything is Illuminated was Foer's first novel published in 2002 when he was in his twenties and so it was considered a work of precocious genius. It chronicles a young, Jewish-American writer's attempt to research his grandfather's life in Ukraine. Jonathan, who has the same name as the book's author, is attempting to find his grandfather's shtetl, Trachimbrod. He has only a few maps and a photograph of a woman named Augustine, who is said to have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Jonathan's guide on his trip is Alex, a young Ukrainian man. They are both twenty-one. Their driver is Alex's grandfather, who claims to be blind. Accompanying the men is Grandfather's seeing-eye dog Sammy Davis Junior, Junior. The novel is comprised by three basic narratives: chapters written by Jonathan, chapters written by Alex, and letters from Alex to Jonathan. Chapters written by Jonathan describe different events in his family's history in Trachimbrod. Chapters written by Alex describe Jonathan's present trip. Letters from Alex to Jonathan reveal the two characters' growing relationship as writers and friends. This book has Safran Foer's unique postmodern style, distorting language to fit narrators even if it means ESL grammar, typographical innovations, and non-linear sequencing.