Synopses & Reviews
New York Times Notable Book
New York Times Bestseller
What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other childrenthe so-called Lost Boyswas forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom. When he finally is resettled in the United States, he finds a life full of promise, but also heartache and myriad new challenges. Moving, suspenseful, and unexpectedly funny, What Is the What is an astonishing novel that illuminates the lives of millions through one extraordinary man.
In a heartrending and astonishing novel, Dave Eggers illuminates the history of the civil war in Sudan through the eyes of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee now living in the United States. We follow his life as he's driven from his home as a boy and walks, with thousands of orphans, to Ethiopia, where he finds safety--for a time. Valentino's travels, truly Biblical in scope, bring him in contact with government soldiers, Janjaweed-like militias, liberation rebels, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation--and a string of unexpected romances. Ultimately, Valentino finds safety in Kenya and, just after the millennium, is finally resettled in the United States, from where this novel is narrated. In this book, written with expansive humanity and surprising humor, we come to understand the nature of the conflicts in Sudan, the refugee experience in America, the dreams of the Dinka people, and the challenge one indomitable man faces in a world collapsing around him.
About the Author
Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He is known for the best–selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
and for his more recent work as a screenwriter. He is also the co–founder of the literacy project 826 Valencia.