Author Profile

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers is the author of many books, including The CircleWhat Is the What, A Hologram for the King, and the forthcoming The Monk of Mokha.

He is founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a humor website, and a journal of new writing, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. 

Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers around the United States. Numerous other organizations worldwide operate with inspiration from the 826 National model. Realizing the need for greater college access for low-income students, Eggers founded ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible.

Eggers’s novel What Is the What, about the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from the civil war in South Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, run by Mr. Deng. VADF operates a secondary school in South Sudan.

Eggers’s books for young readers include Her Right Foot, This Bridge Will Not Be Gray, The Wild Things, and the forthcoming middle-grade novel, The Lifters.

Trained as a painter, Eggers’s artworks have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Biennial of the Americas, and numerous other galleries and art spaces. Eggers is winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the TED Prize, and has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

He lives with his family in Northern California. They have no significant pets.



For more about Dave and his works, go to http://www.mcsweeneys.net/pages/about-dave-eggers

Reviews of The Circle

A vivid, roaring dissent to the companies that have coaxed us to disgorge every thought and action onto the Web... Carries the potential to change how the world views its addicted, compliant thrall to all things digital. If you work in Silicon Valley, or just care about what goes on there, you need to pay attention.
-- Dennis K. Berman, The Wall Street Journal

Fascinating... Eggers appears to run on pure adrenaline, and has as many ideas pouring out of him as the entrepreneurs pitching their inventions in The Circle . . . [A] novel of ideas . . . about the social construction and deconstruction of privacy, and about the increasing corporate ownership of privacy, and about the effects such ownership may have on the nature of Western democracy . . . Like Melville's Pequod and Stephen King's Overlook Hotel, the Circle is a combination of physical container, financial system, spiritual state, and dramatis personae, intended to represent America, or at least a powerful segment of it . . . The Circlers' social etiquette is as finely calibrated as anything in Jane Austen . . . Eggers treats his material with admirable inventiveness and gusto . . . the language ripples and morphs . . . It's an entertainment, but a challenging one.
-- Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books

A parable about the perils of life in a digital age in which our personal data is increasingly collected, sifted and monetized, an age of surveillance and Big Data, in which privacy is obsolete, and Maoist collectivism is the order of the day. Using his fluent prose and instinctive storytelling gifts, Mr. Eggers does a nimble, and sometimes very funny, job of sending up technophiles' naivete, self-interest and misguided idealism. As the artist and computer scientist Jaron Lanier has done in several groundbreaking nonfiction books, Mr. Eggers reminds us how digital utopianism can lead to the datafication of our daily lives, how a belief in the wisdom of the crowd can lead to mob rule, how the embrace of 'the hive mind' can lead to a diminution of the individual. The adventures of Mr. Eggers's heroine, Mae Holland, an ambitious new hire at the company, provide an object lesson in the dangers of drinking the Silicon Valley Kool-Aid and becoming a full-time digital ninja . . . Never less than entertaining . . . Eggers is such an engaging, tactile writer that the reader happily follows him wherever he's going . . . A fun and inventive read.
-- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Reviews of Zeitoun

Imagine Charles Dickens, his sentimentality in check but his journalistic eyes wide open, roaming New Orleans after it was buried by Hurricane Katrina. . . . Eggers' tone is pitch-perfect--suspense blended with just enough information to stoke reader outrage and what is likely to be a typical response: How could this happen in America? . . . It's the stuff of great narrative nonfiction. . . . Fifty years from now, when people want to know what happened to this once-great city during a shameful episode of our history, they will still be talking about a family named Zeitoun.
-- Timothy Egan, The New York Times Book Review

Zeitoun is a riveting, intimate, wide-scanning, disturbing, inspiring nonfiction account of a New Orleans married couple named Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun who were dragged through their own special branch of Kafkaesque (for once the adjective is unavoidable) hell after Hurricane Katrina. . . . [It's] unmistakably a narrative feat, slowly pulling the reader into the oncoming vortex without literary trickery or theatrical devices, reminiscent of Mailer's Executioner's Song but less craftily self-conscious in the exercise of its restraint. Humanistic, that is, in the highest, best, least boring sense of the word.
-- James Wolcott, Vanity Fair



Videos featuring Dave Eggers

Author of Zeitoun Dave Eggers - MPAC Media Awards - May 2010