Does David Eggers Have One Good Thing Going Right Now?


Or, as Papercuts likes to put it, “Is Dave Eggers the busiest man in literature?” Eggers is indeed ubiquitous right now, and is approaching some slightly more exaggerated level of ubiquitous as we approach the fall. Leaving aside–and this is a big thing to leave aside–“the McSweeney’s empire and the 826 Valencia literacy project,” as Papercuts phrases it (we might add 826NYC while we’re at it), Eggers has a movie out–the execrable “Away We Go”–and another on the way, the impossibly great looking Where the Wild Things Are. He’s also releasing a novelization of his Wild Things adaptation; its infuriatingly whimsical furry cover has been making the rounds on the internet all day. In a colossally long Rumpus interview, Eggers teased Zeitoun, a non-fiction book due in the fall about a Hurricane Katrina survivor who Eggers got to know while working on Voices from the Storm, a McSweeney’s-published oral history of the 2005 disaster in New Orleans. Proceeds from Zeitoun will go to a nonprofit foundation that will distribute the book’s profits in and around New Orleans.

So, on the one hand, an abysmally self-absorbed, passive-aggressively eye-rolling movie which cannot get out of theaters, by our lights, fast enough. On the other, Where the Wild Things Are. On the one hand, a book cover covered in fur, because that’s what Wild Things are covered in. On the other, a fascinating in-depth reporting project–for charity!–on one of the biggest human rights catastrophes of this American century. Off to the side, an ever-expanding literacy program and a penchant for writing long, twee defenses of newspapers and print publications with sentences in them like, “Again, this is a time to roar back and assert and celebrate the beauty of the printed page.” Really, this is exhausting: is this dude the Fey Highwayman or the savior of the dregs of print culture? Could he be both at once? Optimism is exhausting.