restricted access Keeping History at Bay: Absent Presences in Three Recent Jewish American Novels

This essay discusses the impact of the Holocaust on three novels written by third-generation Jewish American authors: Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Nicole Krauss's The History of Love. Each novel, it is argued, carries Derridean traces of the Holocaust and its victims: the bombing of the Ukrainian village of Trachimbrod, the Jewish victim Simon Goldberg, and the Jewish Polish author Bruno Schulz haunt these texts as absent presences that allow the characters—and the authors—to keep history at bay.