God Bless You, Dave Eggers
Mostly, I like to write about things I hate on here, so this should be a fun change of pace.
Dave Eggers, who has long been one of my very favorite authors, somehow just keeps getting better. You may have read his memoir, the Pulitzer Prize-Finalist “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.” And trust me, it’s just that. Or maybe you’ve read “What is the What,” a novel about a Sudanese refugee’s early life. While it’s billed as a novel, it had major factual components, as the main character is a friend of Eggers’, Valentino Achak Deng. All of the proceeds from this best-selling book went to Valentino’s foundation, which is in place to rebuild his hometown of Muriel Bai in Sudan. Pretty cool.
Also, Eggers is responsible for starting McSweeney’s, one of the funniest, smartest literary journals out there. A sample of their online offerings.
Oh, and he started an incredible non-profit group (826 Valencia*) to offer tutoring in reading and writing to kids around the country. The guy’s not even 40 yet.
So, Eggers is a brilliant writer, publisher, humanitarian, etc.
This month, it came to my attention that he has yet another job description: Screenwriter. Remember the “Where the Wild Things Are” trailer Brandon posted? Remember how it looks so amazing it almost made you want to cry (be honest)? Guess who wrote that. Dave Eggers. And as if that weren’t enough, he’s also responsible (along with his wife Vida) for the screenplay for “Away We Go,” certain to be one of the better films of the year (it’s directed by Sam Mendes, “American Beauty”).
All that to say, Eggers is brilliant, and I am so pleased he is expanding into the world of film.
*Eggers won the TED award last year for his work with 826 Valencia. Check out the video. It’s awesome.