Nominated by:

Toronto Public Library, Canada

Stadtbüchereien Düsseldorf, Germany

Miami-Dade Public Library System, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

McSweeney's Books, USA

A Hologram for the King

Dave Eggers      

2014 Longlist

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds. This taut, richly layered, and elegiac novel is a powerful evocation of our contemporary moment—and a moving story of how we got here.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including Zeitoun, winner of the American Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. What Is the What was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and won France’s Prix Medici. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, which operates a secondary school in South Sudan run by Mr. Deng. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he cofounded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Washington DC and Boston. A native of Chicago, Eggers now lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.

Librarians’ Comments

Like a Waiting for Godot for the early 21st century, A Hologram for the King is the story of Alan Clay who is in Saudi Arabia awaiting a meeting with the King and a chance to redeem his life by selling him a piece of revolutionary software that will change how people communicate. The novel becomes a parable of both one man’s existential crisis, as he wrestles with regrets over his past personal failings, and of the global financial crisis, as Alan attempts to find a place for himself in an impersonal, post-industrial global economy.

A potent and well-drawn portrait of a man discovering how his personal and professional selves split and connect. A clear, supremely readable parable of the USA in the global economy. It is haunting, beautifully shaped and sad.

A beautiful, sad and comic look at America in the global economy, and how the world is remaking America. Businessman for the biggest IT company in America, Alan Clay has been working for 10 years in Dubai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and China, where “the dreaming’s being done” now, is stuck day after day waiting in a tent in the desert for a Saudi Arabian king who fails to arrive. An allegorical story of globalism as it develops alongside one man’s loss of self-confidence.

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