Exhibit 7.20

The History of Love

I read Nicole Krauss’s book as part of my company’s book club, and while I get the feeling that some of the others didn’t enjoy it, I thought it was pretty great and the ideal book for a club of diverse readers like ours. It’s a quick, easy read that features a fair amount of pleasure in its language, plot, and message. Plus this book was everywhere a year or two ago, and reading it places you in conversation with millions of other book club readers across the country. Isn’t that what these things are all about?

Anyway, it’s one of those books that propels itself forward by hiding from the reader. If only the characters all wrote each other letters or Googled each other or had MySpace pages, none of this would really be necessary. But they don’t, and therefore the 24o pages of the book are mostly concerned with unravelling mysteries of distance.

Two main characters narrate the book. One, a Holocaust survivor originally from Poland, lives out his last few years with his friend Bruno in New York City while wondering how to meet the son who doesn’t know he exists. The other, a 14/15-year-old girl, deals with the death of her father by involving herself in the translation project of her mother. What ties these and a few other narrative threads together is a book called The History of Love which passes through each of these characters’ hands.

Various obstacles prevent any one character–or reader–from connecting the dots between them until, of course, the end. Mostly the obstacles are sad reminders of the fragmentation of diaspora but a few seem less than genuine, coincidences and choices made not by rational characters but by an author needing to buy more time. Still, it’s a really well constructed book full of stunning moments where the characters are capable of creating genuine heartbreak.

I probably wouldn’t have read it without the book club, but if I wanted to go eat Mexican food with them, I sort of had to. And I’m glad I did. Isn’t that what these things are all about?

Last thought: It’s remarkably unimportant to mention that Krauss’s husband is Jonathan Safran Foer, but I find it fascinating, and a little endearing, that this book shares so much with his two novels. Not just the plot elements–the Holocaust, a quirky old Man, children hunting for someone/thing around New York City–but how the books read and feel. If someone says, I want to read something like Everything is Illuminated, the obvious answer is The History of Love. And it has nothing to do with them being married. Or everything. Who knows.

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