Nominated by:

Bibliotheken der Stadt Mainz, Germany

Publisher of nominated edition:

Published by Hamish Hamilton, UK

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

Dave Eggers    

2016 Shortlist

Judges’ comments

A very confused guy compulsively kidnaps a number of people and locks them up in an abandoned military base. What he wants is easy: to talk with them. What he expects is impossible: the answers to his existential crisis. It seems like a radical exercise of dark comedy, but it’s much more than that, because the particular crisis of this loony is, in many ways, the crisis of our time. Who stole our dreams? Is there someone we can blame it on? A disturbing enquiry on the sources of frustration and violence in our world. A very risky, ambiguous and tremendously necessary book. Maybe you will hate it, but even in that case, you should read it.

About the Book

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is Dave Eggers’s story of one man struggling to make sense of the world.

In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from the nearest road, Thomas watches as the man he has brought wakes up. Kev, a NASA astronaut, doesn’t recognize his captor, though Thomas remembers him. Kev cries for help. He pulls at the chain. But the ocean is close by, and nobody can hear him over the waves and wind. Thomas apologizes. He didn’t want to have to resort to this. But they really needed to have a conversation, and Kev didn’t answer his messages. And now, if Kev can just stop yelling, Thomas has a few questions.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Dave Eggers is the author of nine books, including most recently The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing and a monthly magazine. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. He lives in Northern California with his family.

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