Dave Eggers


American Writer, Editor, Publisher, Novelist and Screenwriter, known for memoir "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"

Author Quotes

Nonfiction narratives are really powerful and valid in themselves. But one thing that you don't get sometimes from the more clinical or academic books or nonfiction books is that you don't get to hear the person's voice; you don't get them as individuals. You get a few quotes and you hear them as sort of a case study: numbers, examples, anecdotes, maybe a paragraph here, and that's about it.

Paper is a uniquely beautiful format, more so than the web, I think: you need to invest in the aesthetics.

She needs a new journal. The one she has is problematic. To get to the present, she needs to page through the past, and when she does, she remembers things, and her new journal entries become, for the most part, reactions to the days she regrets, wants to correct, rewrite.

Suffering is only suffering if it?s done in silence, in solitude. Pain experienced in public, in view of loving millions, was no longer pain. It was communion.

The house is a factory.

The raising of a child is the building of a cathedral. You can't cut corners.

There has not been a beautiful death in the history of mankind.

If your hand doesn't work for it, your heart doesn't feel sorry for it.

It looked a lot like a dog. What's that? Max asked, expecting to hear about a mythical creature with a mythical name. Carol squinted and put his hand over his eyes to see better. Oh that's a dog, he said. I don't talk to that guy anymore.

It's not human. It's not primal. So we don't understand it. It's a more recent mutation. The things we all have, love and hate and passion, and the need to eat and yell and screw, these are things every human has. But there's this new mutation, this ability to stand between a human being and some small measure of justice and blame it on some regulation. To say that the form was filled out incorrectly.

Live long enough and you'll disappoint everyone. People think you're able to help them and usually you can't. And so it becomes a process of choosing the one or two people you try hardest not to disappoint. The person in my life I am determined not to disappoint is you.

My Cuddle Time Bible Story Book

Not many songs can fend off evil. But the right song with the right voice can be a weapon; anyone who's listened to music through headphones while riding the subway or plowing angrily through a rush-hour sidewalk knows how it can and separate you from them, allows you to say to the teeming masses that you are this and they are that.

People are strange, but more than that, they're good. They're good first, then strange.

She pulls away, pats me on the shoulder with three mini-pats, like those used to pet reptiles.

That is when the commitment to change would be put to the test: when the cameras are gone and the reporters are gone and the glamour disappears and the tedium sets in?the crushing tedium. That is when you realize, in your solitary moments, how much of your life you will have to sacrifice to change the world.

The idea of 'Voice of Witness' is to let survivors and witnesses of human-rights abuses tell their story at length. It started with a course that I co-taught at U.C. Berkeley journalism school back in 2003.

The secrets are lies. Share is wanting. Privacy is a steal.

There is no faith like the faith of a builder of homes in coastal Louisiana

I'll always be working on five things at once, usually with those documents open at the same time because if I get stuck somewhere I'll jump over to something else. That's how my head has always worked.

It occurred to her, in a moment of sudden clarity, that what had always caused her anxiety, or stress, or worry, was not any one force, nothing independent and external- it wasn't danger to herself or the constant calamity of other people and their problems. It was internal: it was subjective: it was not knowing.

It's not that our family has no taste, it's just that our family's taste is inconsistent.

Loneliness is just a thing that I'm not personally interested in. So far, it hasn't been on my docket of things to write about.

My father once related how he and his friend Les had come up with a way, when stalling for time in a meeting or deposition (he and Les were lawyers [Les, alive and well, still is a lawyer]), instead of saying Um . . ., or Uh . . ., one could say Now . . ., a word which accomplishes two things: it serves the same stalling purpose as Um . . ., or Uh . . ., but instead of being dumb-sounding offputting, it creates suspense for what is coming next, whatever that might be, that which the speaker doesn?t yet know.

Not that there seems to be any appropriate place to bury someone, but these municipal cemeteries, or any cemetery at all for that matter, like the ones by the highway, or the ones in the middle of town, with all these bodies with their corresponding rocks - oh it's just too primitive and vulgar, isn't it? The hole, and the box, and the rock on the grass? And we glamorize this process, feel it fitting and dramatic, austerely beautiful, standing there by the hole as we lower the box. It's incredible. Barbaric and base.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date

American Writer, Editor, Publisher, Novelist and Screenwriter, known for memoir "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"