MIAMI — On Saturday I had the pleasure of listening to SF-based writer Dave Eggers address a packed house at the Miami International Book Fair. Drawing such a sizable crowd was a coup considering most Miamians are having their first sip of café con leche at 11:00am on a weekend morning. Eggers was here to discuss his latest book, “Zeitoun,” which chronicles the story of a Syrian-born New Orleans resident who, believing it is his destiny, creates a one-man rescue mission in his Katrina-ravaged neighborhood, only to be met with the ugly side of American politics and prejudice.
Seeing Eggers speak in person was a thrill. I’ve been a fan of his work since reading his haunting debut “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and have followed his career through his various literary endeavors (including the recent successful screenplay adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”) and his seemingly endless quest to do good through his charitable 826 Valencia tutoring and writing center for kids. “AHWOSG” and its painfully beautiful tale of love, loss, hope, and grief will always carry great weight for me. I moved to San Francisco (the story’s setting) after graduating from college at roughly the same time the memoir was published, so the book feels like a snapshot of that chapter in my life. A copy uniformly sat on the nightstand of pretty much everyone I knew and put into words the raw energy of youth, and our angst and fears about adulthood better than we ever could. It comforted us; we were all in this together.
Eggers was open and friendly as he signed my copy of “Zeitoun.” And because I was there on behalf of Stylenik, I couldn’t resist ending our brief interaction by asking if he subscribed to any particular style philosophy. After a thoughtful (bewildered is perhaps a better word) pause, he smiled and replied, “Well, I buy about one shirt a year, and I get my pants at the hardware store.”
Click here for some Dave Eggers-inspired hardware fashion pants.
And we here at Stylenik know we can’t live on one shirt a year, but if you had to, what would it be? A statement maker, or a basic that goes with anything (perhaps a chambray number like Mr. Eggers’)? Tell us in the comments!
Photo by Stephen McGhee