On Dave Eggers

I just finished reading What is the What, the Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the lost boys of Sudan. It was so compelling. The last paragraph reads...

"Whatever I do, however I find a way to live, I will tell these stories....I speak to you because I cannot help it. It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there. I covet your eyes, your ears, the collapsible space between us. How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive so we must fill the air with our words. I will fill today, tomorrow, every day until I am taken back to God. I will tell stories to people who will listen and to people who don't want to listen, to people who seek me out and to those who run. All the while, I will know that you are there. How can I pretend that you do not exist? It would be almost as impossible as you pretending that I do not exist."

I had read a review of Egger's most recent book, Zeitooun, in the New York Times book review. In the review, Tomothy Egan states "what Dave Eggers has found in the Katrina mud is the full-fleshed story of a single family, and in telling that story he hits larger targets with more punch than those who have already attacked the thematic and historic giants of this disaster. It’s the stuff of great narrative nonfiction." Another great read.

The book cover artwork is by Rachell Sumpter and is made out of a very heavy paper. It reminds me of the 1950's elementary school primer book covers, like Fun with Dick and Jane. It is so totally cool.

Dave Eggers cofounded the Voice of Witness, a series of books that use oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. He also opened 826 Valencia, a writing and tutoring lab for young people in San Francisco's Mission District. I found a brief TED lecture in which he explains his dreams on a 4 minute TED prize talk...