Literary Birthday – 12 March – Dave Eggers

Happy Birthday, Dave Eggers, born 12 March 1970.


  1. People are strange, but more than that, they’re good. They’re good first, then strange.
  2. Also, I need deadlines, just like everybody else, especially coming from magazines, newspapers, and stuff like that. I need daily or weekly deadlines to get stuff done, or I continue to do things and go off on a year of unproductivity.
  3. Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.
  4. If you want to write about people, you can make it up. But if you spend time talking to someone and examining what it is you want to write about, you discover a level of detail that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
  5. Having lost people when they were young, you feel intimately acquainted with mortality, I guess. Though I procrastinate worse than anybody.
  6. High school teachers who want to get reluctant readers turned around need to give the students some say in the reading list. Make it collaborative: The students will feel ownership, and everyone will dig in.
  7. I can remember exactly where I sat when my teacher first read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.
  8. I think almost every writer in the world would hope that books would be always talked about with respect and civility and depth and seriousness.
  9. Paper is a uniquely beautiful format, more so than the web, I think: you need to invest in the aesthetics.
  10. I publish my own books, so there isn’t a certain editor I owe the book to at a publishing house.
  11. But everyone disappears, no matter who loves them.
  12. We have advantages. We have a cushion to fall back on. This is abundance. A luxury of place and time. Something rare and wonderful. It’s almost historically unprecedented. We must do extraordinary things. We have to. It would be absurd not to.

Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He is known for the best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and for his more recent work as a novelist and screenwriter. His latest novel is The Circle.

Source for Image: Dave Eggers’ Website

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 12th March 2013