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March 4: Novelist Dave Eggers To Speak At Carnegie Mellon, March 19


Ken Walters                           

Novelist Dave Eggers To Speak
At Carnegie Mellon, March 19

PITTSBURGH — Best-selling novelist Dave Eggers will speak at Carnegie Mellon University at 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 as part of the university's Adamson Visiting Writers Series. His talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held on campus in the Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A.

Eggers will be discussing his most recent book, "What Is the What," the novelized autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng. The book follows Valentino from his pre-war life in southern Sudan to his resettlement in the United States.

Eggers is best known for his novel "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," a memoir about becoming the official guardian of his 8-year-old brother at the age of 22. The book was a 2001 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the General Non-Fiction category. He has also written a number of other books, including "You Shall Know Our Velocity," "How We Are Hungry" (a collection of short stories) and "What Is the What," a 2006 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was a co-author of "Teachers Have it Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers."

In 2002, Eggers opened 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing lab in San Francisco dedicated to supporting the writing skills of students between the ages of 6 and 18. The lab offers a variety of free programs and services throughout the school year and summer months, including drop-in tutoring, field trips, specialized workshops, in-school assistance and extensive student publishing. Today, there are branches of the writing lab in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Ann Arbor and Boston.

Eggers also created McSweeney's, a publishing house that produces the works of emerging writers as well as his own. He also publishes McSweeney's quarterly literary journal. He writes regularly about art and music for magazines, and his design work has been featured in many periodicals.

The annual Adamson Visiting Writers Series is run by the Creative Writing program in the Department of English, which is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon. The series is made possible by the generous support of the Pauline B. Adamson Fund.