Zoom in on Dave Eggers

As the first author in our Prologue series, we’re turning the spotlight on Dave Eggers. Take a couple of minutes out with a cup of tea in hand to zoom in on this great writer and publisher.

Did you know that…

Eggers first burst on to the literary stage with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - a memoir reflecting on the early deaths of his parents, which left him (at 21 years old) carer for his eight year old brother. Considered a totem of nineties post-modernism and ironising, the book has been described as a “blaring sign of the times”.

Since then Eggers has revitalised the publishing industry launching the McSweeney’s publishing empire that everyone has an opinion about. Under the McSweeney’s umbrella Eggers publishes the literary magazine The Believer, short film compendium Wholphin DVD and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, as well as other literary initiatives driven by the publisher’s optimism for print publication.

…all in all, Dave Eggers is “the man who will leave no stone unturned to lure you back to the printed page”.

The latest stage in Eggers career sees his move into social enterprise initiatives and education activism. His literacy project 826 Valencia hatches young writers, and expanding on this theme, as a TED-speaker Eggers has told of his tutoring initiatives encouraging everyday people to get involved in their local high schools, with Once Upon a School

His latest works have been reinterpretations of others’ stories, such as the novella adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and his third person memoirs of marginalised and disenfranchised figures.

In What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, Eggers is a conduit for a Sudanese lost boy’s story, journeying from war in Sudan to culture clash in the US.  In Zeitoun, his most recent non-fiction work, Eggers follows a similar tack sketching the life of a Syrian-American family in the horror of Hurricane Katrina and the eye of the war of terror’s storm - based on an amazing true story.

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