Books: Dave Eggers Gets Real

The mischievous memoirist delivers a powerful first novel about a road trip of global proportions

Is Dave Eggers for real? it's hard to tell sometimes. He declines most interviews. He is the proprietor of a mysterious store in Brooklyn that sells, among other things, cast-pewter bird's feet and jars of dirt. He once staged the death of TV actor Adam Rich, former star of Eight Is Enough, as a hoax.

Then again, he is also the author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, one of the best memoirs of the past decade, which established him as a writer of the first rank. At 32, Eggers is the yeti of American letters--powerful, mysterious, mischievous but generally...

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