Circle (Eggers) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—March 12, 1970
Where—Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Raised—Lake Forest, Illinois
Education—University of Illinois (no degree)
Currently—lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, California

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.

He is also the founder of McSweeney's, the co-founder of the literacy project 826 Valencia, and the founder of ScholarMatch, a program that matches donors with students needing funds for college tuition. His works have appeared in several magazines, most notably The New Yorker. His works have received a significant amount of critical acclaim.

Personal life
Eggers was born in Boston, Massachusetts, one of four siblings. His father was John K. Eggers (1936–1991), an attorney. His mother, Heidi McSweeney Eggers (1940–1992), was a school teacher. When Eggers was still a child, the family moved to the upscale suburb of Lake Forest, near Chicago. He attended high school there and was a classmate of the actor Vince Vaughn. Eggers attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, intending to get a degree in journalism, but his studies were interrupted by the deaths of both of his parents in 1991–1992—his father in 1991 from brain and lung cancer, and his mother in January 1992 from stomach cancer. Both were in their 50s.

These events were chronicled in his first book, the fictionalized A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. At the time, Eggers was 21, and his younger brother, Christopher ("Toph"), was 8 years old. The two eldest siblings, Bill and Beth, were unable to commit to care for Toph; his older brother had a full-time job and his sister was enrolled in law school. As a result, Dave Eggers took the responsibility.

He left the University of Illinois and moved to Berkeley, California, with his girlfriend Kirsten and his brother. They initially moved in with Eggers's sister, Beth, and her roommate, but eventually found a place in another part of town, which they paid for with money left to them by their parents. Toph attended a small private school, and Eggers did temp work and freelance graphic design for a local newspaper. Eventually, with his friend David Moodie, he took over a local free newspaper called Cups. This gradually evolved into the satirical magazine Might.

Eggers lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is married to Vendela Vida, also a writer. They have two children.

He was one of three 2008 TED Prize recipients. His TED Prize wish was for community members to personally engage with local public schools The same year, Utne Reader named him one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World."

In 2005, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Brown University. He delivered the baccalaureate address at the school in 2008.

Literary work
• Egger's first book was a memoir (with fictional elements), A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000), which focused on the author's struggle to raise his younger brother in San Francisco following the deaths of both of their parents. The book quickly became a bestseller and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

• In 2002, Eggers published his first novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity, a story about a frustrating attempt to give away money to deserving people while haphazardly traveling the globe. He has also published a collection of short stories, How We Are Hungry, and three politically themed serials for

• In 2005, Eggers published Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated, a book of interviews with former prisoners sentenced to death and later exonerated. The book was compiled with Lola Vollen, "a physician specializing in the aftermath of large-scale human rights abuses" and "a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of International Studies and a practicing clinician." Lawyer novelist Scott Turow wrote the introduction to Surviving Justice.

• Eggers' 2006 novel What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Eggers also edits the Best American Nonrequired Reading series, an annual anthology of short stories, essays, journalism, satire, and alternative comics.

• In 2009, he published Zeitoun and, as a result, was presented with the Courage in Media Award by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Zeitoun is the account of a Syrian immigrant, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, in New Orleans who was helping neighbors after Hurricane Katrina when he was arrested, imprisoned and suffered abuse. The book has been optioned by Jonathan Demme, who is working on a screenplay for an animated film-rendition of the work. To Demme, it "felt like the first in-depth immersion I’d ever had through literature or film into the Muslim-American family.... The moral was that they are like people of any other faith."

• Eggers published A Hologram for the King in July 2012, which became a finalist for the National Book Award. The novel is the story of one man's struggle to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the new realities of a global economy.

• In 2013, he released The Circle, a satirical novel about the internet's subversive power over citizen privacy. The Circle is a combination of Facebook, Google, Twitter and more, as seen through the eyes of Mae Holland, a new hire who starts in customer service.

In 1998, Eggers founded McSweeney's, an independent publishing house, which takes his mother's maiden name. Apart from its book list, McSweeney's also publishes the quarterly literary journal Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, the daily-updated literature and humor site McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the monthly magazine The Believer, the quarterly food journal Lucky Peach, the sports journal Grantland Quarterly (in association with sports and pop culture website Grantland), and the quarterly DVD magazine, Wholphin. The publishing house also runs three additional imprints: Believer Books; McSweeney's McMullens, a children's book department; and the Collins Library.

826 National
In 2002, Eggers and educator Nínive Clements Calegari co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids ages 6–18 in San Francisco. It has since grown into seven chapters across the United States: Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Boston, and Washington, D.C., all under the auspices of the nonprofit organization 826 National.

In 2006, Eggers appeared at a series of fund-raising events, dubbed "Revenge of the Book–Eaters Tour," to support his educational programs. The Chicago show featured Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard. Other performers on the tour included Sufjan Stevens, Jon Stewart, Davy Rothbart, and David Byrne.

In 2007, the Heinz Family Foundation awarded Eggers a $250,000 Heinz Award (given to recognize "extraordinary achievements by individuals"). In accordance with Eggers' wishes, the award money was given to 826 National and The Teacher Salary Project. In April 2010, under the umbrella of 826 National, Eggers launched ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization that connects donors with students to make college more affordable. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 9/17/2013.)

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