Dave Eggers Interview.

Interesting interview of Dave Eggers in The Observer, Dave Eggers: From 'staggering genius' to America's conscience, by Rachel Cooke.  Eggers is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and more recently of Zeitoun, a true story of an Arab-American who, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, runs afoul of The Department of Homeland Security.

Eggers belongs to a cohort of writers young enough to be my children, and about whom, like a bad parent, I feel guilty for largely neglecting.  But that's just me.  Great interview, and I was glad to know more about him.

A quote that warms the heart of this librarian:

 At home, where he writes, he no longer has internet access. A four-month stint with wi-fi proved "deadly" for his productivity and having no access at all ensures that he is not tempted to "look at Kajagoogoo videos and old ads for Wrigley's Spearmint Gum" on YouTube. "Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you're called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can't ever get back down. I have a great friend who became a Twitterer and he says he hasn't written anything for a year."

But, in any case, he is a paper man, not a screen man. "I only read on paper. I don't have an e-reader or an iPhone. I have the best time reading newspapers. I don't believe books are dead. I've seen the figures. Sales of adult fiction are up in the worst economy since the Depression."

...He believes passionately in the power of reading and of writing; one evening a week, he and a group high-school students get together to talk about American journalism, though tonight they will be interviewing me, a "real-life British person" (given that their last special guest was Spike Jonze, the film director with whom Eggers wrote the script for Where the Wild Things Are, I fear I could be something of a disappointment). At the end of the year, these students help Eggers compile a volume called The Best American Nonrequired Reading, a showcase for journalism and short fiction.

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