What is the What. The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng
(San Francisco), (McSweeney's), (2006). The advance reading copy of this highly praised "nonfiction novel" based on the life story of Deng, one of the Sudanese "Lost Boys," as told to Eggers, the author of the acclaimed memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and creator of McSweeney's, the highly regarded literary journal and publisher. With different cover art from the published book and with blurbs by Khaled Hosseini, Philip Gourevitch and John Prendergast on the rear panel. Uncommon in the proof form: McSweeney's is a decidedly small press, with little in the way of marketing dollars: its best advertising tends to be the "buzz" created by its publications, and this book exemplified the process, reaching #25 on The New York Times bestseller list without the benefit of much in the way of advertising or promotional clout. A powerful novelization of a Sudanese survivor's story, which Eggers later followed with Zeitoun, an account of a post-Katrina family in a New Orleans lacking in civil liberties. This is the only advance copy we have encountered. Slight splaying to covers; else fine in wrappers. [#027358] $450
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.