A Short Book on a Moral Dilemma
9 9 2019
A Short Book on a Moral Dilemma

Dave Eggers in conversation with Paolo Giordano

A very lively conversation took place on Sunday afternoon in Piazza Castello, within the imposing complex of Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, between Dave Eggers, best-selling American author with a social conscience and Italian writer Paolo Giordano, also a best-selling author and someone very concerned with the troubles of the modern world.

Eggers, whose first book A Breathtaking Work of Staggering Genius brought him incredible success in 2000, has recently published his latest novel The Parade, a modern fable with a twist. Paolo Giordano tells us the plot: in an unnamed foreign country, two men are tasked with building a road with a special machine. While one is not interested in anything that may distract him from his work, the other is more than willing to mingle with the locals and try out as many experiences as possible.


The American author draws our attention to the very delicate compromise, which we all face in life, between tasting every tempting fruit life has to offer and accomplishing worthwhile work through focus. Eggers joked that his tip for budding authors is to sit with a laptop in a bare garage with no Internet connection.

Eggers is a keen observer of modern society and is deeply engaged in resolving social issues in America. In a recent journalistic assignment, he went to rallies in support of Trump in order to speak to people and hear their reasons for supporting the American President. He was humbled by the realization that they relayed very rational explanations and that the American Dream is still very much alive. He knows how to listen and empathize.

He is committed to reducing social inequalities, especially so rampant in his home city of San Francisco and to this end has funded 826 National, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting disadvantaged youths with their creative writing. Other organisations have followed this model in other US cities.