Like everybody else, I got hooked on Dave Eggers when A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius first came out; unlike everybody else, I'm of the firmly held belief that his more recent works, like Zeitoun and What is the What, are some of the best stuff he's ever written. So good news: The Rumpus just posted an interview with Eggers about his upcoming book, which I didn't even know existed until this morning. The news that there's a new Eggers novel on the horizon, and that it's coming out very soon, has made my day significantly less shitty.
THE RUMPUS: A Hologram for The King is your first imagined-from-scratch book in a while. In a lot of ways it seems like a real departure from the last book we talked about, Zeitoun. So I guess the question would be, Why a novel set in Saudi Arabia?
DAVE EGGERS: Well, about four years ago I had one of those moments where you think, Huh, that’s an interesting framework for a novel. My brother-in-law had just been to Saudi Arabia with his company, and he told me about these cities that King Abdullah is trying to construct from scratch, these centers of education and manufacturing and other catalysts for a post-oil economy. I was fascinated by the idea of American businesspeople coming to these nascent cities in the desert, trying to get in on the ground floor. That was the start of it at least, and it gelled with some ideas I was having about this aging businessman who’s painted himself into a corner.
A Hologram for the King comes out on June 28 from McSweeney's (natch).