Common Reading

Dave Eggers, Author of Zeitoun

About the Author

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including What is the What, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France's Prix Medici. What is the What, a nonfiction book about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in southern Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation. This foundation is run by Mr. Deng and dedicated to building secondary schools in southern Sudan. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house in San Francisco, California that produces books, an eponymous quarterly journal, a monthly magazine (The Believer), and Wholphin, a quarterly DVD of short fillms and documentaries.

In 2002, with Nivine Calegari, he cofounded 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, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

In 2004, Eggers taught at the University of California Berkley Graduate School of Journalism and there, with Dr. Lola Vollen, he cofounded Voice of Witness, 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 children.

- McSweeney's