the book of Genesis, when God calls out, "Abraham!" to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, "Here I am." Later, when Isaac calls out, "My father!" to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, "Here I am."How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel in eleven years - a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy. Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks, in present-day Washington, D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East. At stake isthe very meaning of home - and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear.