Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Dave Eggers  

Pen Name: Doris Haggis-on-Whey and Benny Haggis-on-Whey and Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey when co-authored with Christopher Eggers, Lucy Thomas, Daniel O'Mara

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult; Children;

Born: 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts

-- Website --
-- Dave Eggers on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Eggers grew up in Lake Forest and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism.

Biographical and Professional Information

David Eggers is a writer, editor, publisher, philanthropist and literary entrepreneur. He is the founder of ''McSweeney's'', an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (''McSweeney's Quarterly Concern''), and a monthly magazine (''The Believer''). McSweeney's also publishes ''Voice of Witness'', a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. In 2004, Eggers taught at the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and there, with Dr. Lola Vollen, he co-founded ''Voice of Witness''.Eggers is the cofounder of ''826 National'', a network of tutoring centers around the country - Chicago, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Boston - and ''ScholarMatch'', a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools, and donors to make college possible. His fiction has appeared in ''Zoetrope'', ''Punk Planet'' and ''The New Yorker''. He has written introductions to new editions of books. He currently has a weekly short-short-story section in the UK ''Guardian'' newspaper. He also writes a series of children's reference books with his brother, Toph, under the pen name "Haggis-on-Whey". Eggers currently resides in Northern California.

Published Works

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Simon & Schuster, 2000
  • You Shall Know Our Velocity, 2002
  • Giraffes? Giraffes!, 2003 - as Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey, co-authored with Christopher Eggers
  • Jokes Told in Heaven About Babies, 2003 - as Lucy Thomas
  • Your Disgusting Head, 2004 - as Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey, co-authored with Christopher Eggers
  • The Unforbidden is Compulsory; or, Optimism, 2004
  • How We Are Hungry, 2004
  • Short Short Stories, 2005 - short stories, part of the Pocket Penguin series
  • Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers, 2005 - co-authored with Daniel Moulthrop and Nínive Clements Calegari
  • Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated, 2005 co-compiled with Lola Vollen; with an introduction by Scott Turow
  • What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, 2006
  • Animals of the Ocean, in Particular the Giant Squid, 2006 - as Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey, co-authored with Christopher Eggers
  • Zeitoun, Knopf Doubleday, 2010
  • A Hologram for the King,, Vintage, 2012
  • The Story of Captain Nemo, Pushkin Children's Books, 2013
  • Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, Knopf, 2014
  • The Circle, Vintage Books, 2014
  • Heroes of the Frontier, Knopf, 2016
  • Her Right Foot, Chronicle, 2017
  • The Monk of Mokha, Knopf, 2018
  • What Can a Citizen Do?, Chronicle, 2018

Selected Titles At Your Library

A heartbreaking work of staggering genius /
ISBN: 0375725784. OCLC Number:

. .

One of the most mesmerizing memoirs of the literary season: a wrenching, hilarious, and stylistically groundbreaking story of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. "Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tired already, from that winter. So when something would come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his mouth in a sorry kind of smile. But Beth and I ... Jesus, we were fighting with everyone, anyone, each other, with strangers at bars, anywhere -- we were angry people wanting to exact revenge. We came to California and we wanted everything, would take what was ours, anything within reach. And I decided that little Toph and I, he with his backward hat and long hair, living together in our little house in Berkeley, would be world-destroyers. We inherited each other and, we felt, a responsibility to reinvent everything, to scoff and re-create and drive fast while singing loudly and pounding the windows. It was a hopeless sort of exhilaration, a kind of arrogance born of fatalism, I guess, of the feeling that if you could lose a couple of parents in a month, then basically anything could happen, at any time -- all bullets bear your name, all cars are there to crush you, any balcony could give way; more disaster seemed only logical. And then, as in Dorothy's dream, all these people I grew up with were there, too, some of them orphans also, most but not all of us believing that what we had been given was extraordinary, that it was time to tear or break down, ruin, remake, take and devour. This was San Francisco, you know, and everyone had some dumb idea -- I mean, wicca? -- and no one there would tell you yours was doomed. Thus the public nudity, and this ridiculous magazine, and the Real World tryout, all this need, most of it disguised by sneering, but all driven by a hyper-awareness of this window, I guess, a few years when your muscles are taut, coiled up and vibrating. But what to do with the energy? I mean, when we drive, Toph and I, and we drive past people, standing on top of all these hills, part of me wants to stop the car and turn up the radio and have us all dance in formation, and part of me wants to run them all over."--Excerpt from chapter 5.

You shall know our velocity! /
ISBN: 1400033543. OCLC Number:

Vintage,. New York :. 2003.

After acquiring $32,000, Will and Hand, devastated over the death of their closest friend, travel around the world giving away the money, in a rowdy debut novel from the author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

The Haggis-On-Whey world of unbelievable brilliance.
ISBN: 1932416978. OCLC Number:

McSweeney's Pub.,. [San Francisco] :. ©2007.

Jokes told in heaven about babies.
ISBN: 193241603X. OCLC Number:

Mcsweeney'S,. [Place of publication not identified] :. 2003.

Your disgusting head :
ISBN: 0743267257. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2004.

Shares humorous misinformation about the human head, including unappetizing untruths about which teeth do not bite, the color of the tongue, and the state of the human mind.

How we are hungry :
ISBN: 1400095565. OCLC Number:

Vintage Books,. New York :. 2005.

A debut collection of short stories presents a compelling cast of characters who struggle with inconvenient revelations, from the deserts of Egypt to the side of Interstate 5.

Short short stories /
ISBN: 0141023082. OCLC Number:

Penguin,. London :. 2005.

Dave Eggers has been partly responsible for a rejuvenation of short fiction in the USA, and these short stories are as original and witty as any of his longer works.

Teachers have it easy :
ISBN: 1595581286. OCLC Number:

New Press ;. New York :. 2006.

Presents an examination of the reality of public school teaching in the United States, combining facts and statistics with the voices of schoolteachers from across the country, describing how society views teachers and how public policy intersects with teachers' lives.

Surviving justice :
ISBN: 1932416234. OCLC Number:

McSweeney's,. San Francisco :. ©2005.

"Beverly Monroe spent seven years in prison for murdering her companion of thirteen years; in fact, he had killed himself. Christopher Ochoa was persuaded to confess to a rape and murder he did not commit, and served twelve years of his life sentence before he was freed by DNA evidence. Michael Evans and Paul Terry each spent twenty-seven years in prison for a brutal rape and murder they did not commit. They were teenagers when they entered prison; they were middle-aged men when DNA proved their innocence. After spending years behind bars, hundreds of men and women with incontrovertible proof of their innocence including 120 from death row have been released from America's prisons. They were wrongfully convicted because of problems that plague many criminal proceedings inept defense lawyers, overzealous prosecutors, deceitful and coercive interrogation tactics, bad science, snitches, and eyewitness misidentification. The lives of these victims of the U.S. criminal justice system were effectively wrecked. Finally free, usually after more than a decade of incarceration, they re-enter society with nothing but the scars from a harrowing descent into prison only to struggle to survive on the outside. The thirteen men and women portrayed here, and the hundreds of others who have been exonerated, are the tip of the iceberg. There are countless others thousands by all estimates who are in prison today for crimes they did not commit. These are the stories of some of the wrongfully convicted, who have managed, often by sheer luck, to prove their innocence. Their stories are spellbinding, heartbreaking, unimaginable, and ultimately inspiring. After reading these deeply personal accounts, you will never look at the criminal justice system the same way."--Publisher's website.

What is the what :
ISBN: 1932416641. OCLC Number:

. .

A biographical novel traces the story of Valentino Achak Deng, who as a boy of seven was separated from his family when his village in southern Sudan was attacked by government helicopters and became one of the estimated 17,000 "lost boys of Sudan" before relocating from a Kenyan refugee camp to Atlanta in 2001.

Animals of the ocean :
ISBN: 1932416390. OCLC Number:

McSweeney's Pub.,. [San Francisco, Calif.] :. 2006.

Shares humorous misinformation about marine animals, including the duties of squid appendages, what water does on weekends, shark religion, and the kind of music that giant squids listen to on the train.

Zeitoun /
ISBN: 0307387941. OCLC Number:

McSweeney's Books,. San Francisco :. ©2009.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, longtime New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are cast into an unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water. In the days after the storm, Abdulrahman traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared--arrested and accused of being an agent of Al-Qaeda.

A hologram for the king :
ISBN: 193636574X. OCLC Number:

. .

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great. In this novel the author takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy's gale-force winds.

The story of Captain Nemo /
ISBN: 1782690182. OCLC Number:

. .

Consuelo joins his Uncle Pierre on a ship to investigate reports of a sea monster.

Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? :
ISBN: 1101874198. OCLC Number:

. .

In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from the nearest road, Thomas watches as the man he has brought wakes up. Kev, a NASA astronaut, doesn't recognize his captor, though Thomas remembers him. Kev cries for help. He pulls at his chain. But the ocean is close by, and nobody can hear him over the waves and wind. Thomas apologizes. He didn't want to have to resort to this. But they really needed to have a conversation, and Kev didn't answer his messages. And now, if Kev can just stop yelling, Thomas has a few questions.

The circle :
ISBN: 0345807294. OCLC Number:

. .

"The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge"--

Heroes of the frontier :
ISBN: 045149380X. OCLC Number:

. .

Josie and her husband have split up, she's been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she's grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée's family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation; they see bears and bison, they eat hot dogs cooked on a bonfire, and they spend nights parked along icy cold rivers in dark forests. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined. Past mistakes pursue her tiny family to the very edge of civilization.

Her right foot /
ISBN: 1452162816. OCLC Number:

. .

In this honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation.

The monk of Mokha /
ISBN: 1101947314. OCLC Number:

. .

"From bestselling author Dave Eggers, the incredible true story of a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but finds himself trapped in Sana'a by civil war. Mokhtar Alkhanshali is twenty-four and working as a doorman when he discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen's central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in the country's rugged mountains and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. But when war engulfs the country and Saudi bombs rain down, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people."--

What can a citizen do? /
ISBN: 1452173133. OCLC Number:

. .

Rhyming text explores citizenship, showing readers how seemingly unrelated actions, such as planting a tree or joining a cause can create a community.


A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

What Is the What

  • Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
  • New York Times Notable Book
  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

The Circle and A Hologram for the King

  • Finalist for the 2012 National Book Award
  • Top Ten Books, New York Times, 2012


  • New York Times Notable Book
  • O, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year
  • Huffington Post Best Book of the Year
  • New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year
  • Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year
  • Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
The Circle: Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes To inquire about speaking engagements, please email