March 20, 2013

What is the What?

Like any avid reader, I have my favorite authors. Shockingly, up until recently, that list did not include Dave Eggers. In the past few weeks, I’ve started to work my way through some of his books, and I have to say that the tone of his writing it unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced. Though he writes with intensity, it's in a way that is completely removed and objective—almost as though he is reading the thoughts of his characters in a deliberate, calm and measured manner.

I worked my way through Hologram for King first, and only because it was the newest of his books. After reading reviews of his other works online, I decided to next read What is the What. My words won’t ever do it justice. It’s one of those books that gives you insight into another way of life; in this case, the shocking story of the Lost Boys in Sudan as told through the eyes of Valentino Achak Deng. The story is horrific, even more so because it happened relatively recently. It’s insane to think that these sorts of atrocities are still happening, and that refugee camps are still a necessity. 

The first step to ending this madness is to become aware of it. To learn more about the situation in Africa, I highly suggest that you give the book a read and visit the UN’s website. I also recommend accompanying it with a viewing of the particularly startling documentary God Grew Tired Of Us, which both humorously and sadly shows the plight of refugees once they enter the U.S. 

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