Saturday, December 06, 2008
Dave Eggers, What is the What
Dave Eggers, What is the What. Simple, direct. Makes me respect Eggers - it's not his, but Valentino's voice telling the story. But the soul of his writing (what saves it from artifice and archness and makes it Staggering Genius despite self-consciousness) is there. I'm not sure what that essence is - saying it is love is inadequate. Anyway, it's a tremendous feat to write a story in the midst of massive human tragedy that is neither saccharine, overdrawn, nor despairing. This story made me cry, but for a friend -another person, not for nameless, faceless masses of people. More than cry, though. It was funny and beautiful, it made me love my life, I wanted to kiss strangers, and hug children. The best part of Valentino Achak Deng's story is that is didn't end when he left Kakuma, but it continues. The end is satisfying, even though completely unfinished.