• Home

Conversation: Dave Eggers & Valentino Achak Deng

April 27, 2007 | Donnell Library | New York City

Valentino Achak Deng is a refugee of the Sudanese Civil War of the 1980s and ’90s. His is a common but largely invisible story of African turmoil and its ravages on the lives of children. Dave Eggers fictionalized Valentino’s story in his novel What Is the What.

Discussed: how to become a U.S. citizen; the American short attention span; leaving home and returning on a cargo plane; and a reading from What Is the What

Copyright © 2007 Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center

• Entire conversation (53:09)

From the PEN Blogs

• Catherine Texier:
Valentino Achak Deng had a surprise for the hundreds (at least, it looked like hundreds) of people waiting on line to see him and Dave…[More]

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.