Obama appoints controversial novelist to Holocaust Memorial Council

His book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was adapted into a Oscar-nominated film starring Tom Hanks. The novel, which is set against the backdrop of the Sept. 11 attacks, was criticized for his writing technique and for his use of modern literary devices. 

Foer used "visual writing," which consists of plot devices like interconnected stories, pictures within the book and other oddities. A New York Times review said the novel was "irritating" and "as a whole feels simultaneously contrived and improvisatory, schematic and haphazard."

Foer, 35, achieved literary fame with his first book, Everything is Illuminated. That tome, which focused on the Holocaust, received the National Jewish Book Award and the Guardian First Book Award.