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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based on a True Story
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Published:
Simon & Schuster 2013
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Lexile measure:
1050L
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
"Exhilarating...Profoundly moving, occasionally angry, and often hilarious...A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly" (The New York Times Book Review).
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the unique, moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. In his distinctive style unlike any other memoir, Egger's story is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive, as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.
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More Details
Street Date:
02/12/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781476737546
ASIN:
B00B91FU6S
Lexile measure:
1050
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Dave Eggers. (2013). A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based on a True Story. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Dave Eggers. 2013. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based On a True Story. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based On a True Story. Simon & Schuster, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Dave Eggers. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based On a True Story. Simon & Schuster, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Anne Arundel County Public Library11

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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 03, 2017 06:21:23
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 21:11:21
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 25, 2024 05:48:48
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Check:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: Dave Eggers is the bestselling author of seven books, including A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award; Zeitoun, winner of the American Book Award and Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and What Is the What, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won France's Prix Medici. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, which operates a secondary school in South Sudan run by Mr. Deng. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco that produces a quarterly journal, a monthly magazine, The Believer:, a quarterly DVD of short films and documentaries, Wholphin; and an oral history series, Voice of Witness. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he cofounded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Eggers is also the founder of ScholarMatch, a program that matches donors with students needing funds for college tuition. A native of Chicago, Eggers now lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.
      • name: Dave Eggers
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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
fullDescription
"Exhilarating...Profoundly moving, occasionally angry, and often hilarious...A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantly" (The New York Times Book Review).
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the unique, moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. In his distinctive style unlike any other memoir, Egger's story is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive, as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.
gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 4
      • value: Grade 5
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 31, 2000
        Literary self-consciousness and technical invention mix unexpectedly in this engaging memoir by Eggers, editor of the literary magazine McSweeney's and the creator of a satiric 'zine called Might, who subverts the conventions of the memoir by questioning his memory, motivations and interpretations so thoroughly that the form itself becomes comic. Despite the layers of ironic hesitation, the reader soon discerns that the emotions informing the book are raw and, more importantly, authentic. After presenting a self-effacing set of "Rules and Suggestions for the Enjoyment of this Book" ("Actually, you might want to skip much of the middle, namely pages 209-301") and an extended, hilarious set of acknowledgments (which include an itemized account of his gross and net book advance), Eggers describes his parents' horrific deaths from cancer within a few weeks of each other during his senior year of college, and his decision to move with his eight year-old brother, Toph, from the suburbs of Chicago to Berkeley, near where his sister, Beth, lives. In California, he manages to care for Toph, work at various jobs, found Might, and even take a star turn on MTV's The Real World. While his is an amazing story, Eggers, now 29, mainly focuses on the ethics of the memoir and of his behavior--his desire to be loved because he is an orphan and admired for caring for his brother versus his fear that he is attempting to profit from his terrible experiences and that he is only sharing his pain in an attempt to dilute it. Though the book is marred by its ending--an unsuccessful parody of teenage rage against the cruel world--it will still delight admirers of structural experimentation and Gen-Xers alike. Agent, Elyse Cheney, Sanford Greenberger Assoc.; 7-city author tour.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 15, 1999
        How college senior Eggers loses both parents to cancer, inherits his eight-year-old brother, and eventually founds a couple of cutting-edge magazines.

        Copyright 1999 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2000
        "A memoir," says the book's cover, "based on a true story." Readers are advised in the preface that "many parts have been fictionalized," but it is not really clear how much is "real" here and how much is spoof. What could be funny about the final days of Eggers' mother's battle with stomach cancer, just a month after the loss of his father to another form of cancer? Eggers' seemingly flippant, but piercingly observant style, allows hilarity to lead the way in a very personal and revealing recounting of the loss of his parents. Barely out of college, Eggers is responsible for the care of his eight-year-old brother, Toph. Together they relocate from the Midwest to Berkeley, where their sister Beth is in law school. Young, eager, full of himself, Eggers teams up with like-minded pals in the media-crazed early 90s to create the satirical magazine "Might," while also making sure he's there for Toph's Little League games and parent/teacher conferences. Eggers voices the classic youthful assumption that the world belongs (or should belong) to him. From anyone else this might be incredibly annoying, but so much is tongue-in-cheek in this work. Not just for the MTV-fan age group, this is a very entertaining, well-written book. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2000))(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2000, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from March 29, 2010
        Dion Graham offers a stirring and, yes, heartbreaking reading of Eggers's Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir of assuming guardianship of his eight-year-old brother after both his parents died of cancer. Graham's reading is so honest and emotionally generous that it sounds as if he is relaying events from his own life. His pacing is well matched with the writing and varies with the shifting emotional current; the back and forth dialogues between Eggers and his brother ring true as Graham shifts his tone to capture the subtleties. Despite the often rapid-fire speed of Graham's delivery, he never stumbles and keeps the conversations believable and Egger's penchant for metafictional asides coherent. A Vintage paperback.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from November 15, 1999
        It's a good guess that Jedediah Purdy--the author of For Common Things and righteous agitator against irony--would hate Eggers and his late satirical magazine, Might, right along with this masterly memoir. That is a shame because, despite Eggers's inability to take anything seriously on its surface, this meandering story rests on a foundation of sincerity that is part of Purdy's rallying cry. Amid countless digressions, Eggers relates two tales: his mostly successful, if unconventional attempt at raising his much younger brother following their parents' deaths and his years founding and then witnessing the slow demise of Might. Throughout, Eggers eschews any contrivance. The expected tales of emotional longing, political alienation, and creative struggle by a smart twentysomething are replaced by a stream of hilarious, how-it-happened anecdotes; often inane, how-we-really-talk dialog; and quick jabs at some of our society's bizarre conventions. In the end one is left with a surprisingly moving tale of family bonding and resilience as well as the nagging suspicion that maybe he made the whole thing up. In any case, as compared with the spate of recent reminiscences by earnest youngsters, Eggers delivers a worthwhile story told in perfect pitch to the material. Highly recommended for public and undergraduate libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/99.]--Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"

        Copyright 1999 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is the unique, moving memoir of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. In his distinctive style unlike any other memoir, Egger's story is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive, as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.
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