3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius


“You will die, and when you die, you will know a profound lack of it [dignity]. It’s never dignified, always brutal. What’s dignified about dying? It’s never dignified. And in obscurity? Offensive. Dignity is an affectation, cute but eccentric, like learning French or collecting scarves. And it’s fleeting and incredibly mercurial. And subjective. So fuck it.”

– Dave Eggers


Dave Eggers tells the story of the aftermath he and his siblings experience after both of their parents are taken by cancer within months of each other in this…well, you saw the title. It is, above all, the story of brothers—him caring for his younger brother, Toph. For someone with an incredibly sad story, he has a certain kind of strength and perspective on life and his circumstances that we would all do well to learn from. Vibrant and uniquely written, this is a story worth hearing.


“But of course there’s no logic to San Francisco generally, a city built with putty and pipe cleaners, rubber cement and colored construction paper. It’s the work of fairies, elves, happy children with new crayons.”

– Dave Eggers

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