• The cover of the book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    Dave Eggers has become one of San Francisco’s most beloved literary figures. Since rocketing to fame in 2000 with his Pulitzer Prize-nominated memoir, A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius, Eggers went on to found McSweeney’s, a literary press, and 826 Valencia, now a national nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids. In the past few years, Eggers has been prolific. He’s written half a dozen critically acclaimed novels and short story collections and racked up enough awards to wallpaper a room. But most impressive, A Heart-Breaking Work stands up to the test of time. Sixteen years later, I still think about a particular passage every time I drive south on Highway 1 and pass Montara Beach. Vividly, I picture Dave and his younger brother Toph tossing a frisbee, waves crashing onto the sand, the Pacific Ocean breeze blowing away just a little of the heartbreak of losing their parents to cancer. That’s a long time for a scene in a book to stay with you.