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The Author

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers' first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Since then he's written two more novels and launched an independent publishing house, which publishes books, a quarterly literary journal (McSweeney's), a DVD-based review of short films (Wholpin), a monthly magazine (The Believer) and the Voice of Witness project.

eggersEggers is the author of seven books, including You Shall Know Our Velocity, winner of the Independent Book Award, and What Is the What, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France’s Prix Medici. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in southern Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, run by Mr. Deng and dedicated to building secondary schools in southern Sudan.

Eggers has established himself as a philanthropist and teacher-at-large. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Boston. He is the recipient of the 2008 TED Prize and presenter of a TED "One Wish to Change the World" speech.

In 2004, Eggers taught at the University of California–Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and there, with Dr. Lola Vollen, he co-founded Voice of Witness project, a series of books using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. A native of Chicago, Eggers graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children. (text © Random House; photo © Michelle Quint)


  • (Editor, with others) For the Love of Cheese: The Editors of Might Magazine, Boulevard Books (New York, NY), 1996.
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (memoir), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2000.
  • You Shall Know Our Velocity (novel), self-published, 2002.
  • (Editor, with Michael Cart) The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002, Mariner Books, 2002.
  • (Editor, with Zadie Smith) The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003, Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
  • (Editor) The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004, Mariner Books, 2004.
  • (Editor, with others) Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category, Knopf, 2004.
  • Sacrament! (play; adapted from You Shall Know Our Velocity,) produced at the Campo Santo Company, San Francisco, CA, 2004.
  • How We Are Hungry (short stories), McSweeney's, 2004.
  • What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, McSweeney's, 2006.
  • Zeitoun, McSweeney's, 2009. (With Spike Jonze)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (screenplay; adapted from Maurice Sendak's book of the same title), Warner Bros. Pictures, 2009.

Read some online essays by and about Eggers.