There’s a bit of information floating around about Jonathan Safran Foer’s next novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, set for an April 2005. Houghton Mifflin has the cover (which includes a large hand with Illuminated-like scribbling) and the following plot summary:
Oskar Schell is an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
An inspired creation, Oskar is endearing, exasperating, and unforgettable. His search for the lock careens from Central Park to Coney Island to the Bronx and beyond. But it also travels into history, to Dresden and Hiroshima, where horrific bombings once shattered other lives. Along the way, Oskar encounters a motley assortment of humanity — a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, lovers enraptured or scorned — all survivors in their own ways. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father”s grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother”s apartment. They are there to dig up his father”s empty coffin.
Houghton Mifflin lists April 4, 2005 as the publication date, but The Marsh Agency (Foer’s UK agent) lists January 4, 2005.