A conversation with Author Dave Eggers and Sandra Farag, Youth Materials Selector at the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library.
Dave Eggers is an award-winning and acclaimed author of many books, including What Is the What, winner of France’s Prix Medici and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and more recently The Circle and Heroes of the Frontier, longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award.
Eggers will discuss his picture book, Her Right Foot, a fascinating, non-fiction tale, uniquely American in its frank tone. Eggers and debut illustrator, Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue, her raised right foot. What they find is the powerful message of acceptance essential to the story of America. Eggers writes, “Liberty and freedom from oppression are not things you get or grant by standing around like some kind of statue. No! These are things that require movement. And adaptation. And more than anything else, it’s unfinished business. It never ends!” In response to the heightened concern for the rights of immigrants and refugees seeking to enter the U.S., the creators received an accelerated release date.
Eggers’s new adult, non-fiction book will be released in late January from Knopf Books. The Monk of Mokha is a heart-pounding, true story weaving together the history of coffee, the struggles of everyday Yemenis living through a civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man (a Muslim and a U.S. citizen) following the most American of dreams.
Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of seven educational centers throughout the U.S., offering free tutoring to children of all backgrounds. Later, he co-founded ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization connecting students with resources, donors and colleges to make higher education possible for those in low-income communities. Currently, over two hundred students are now enrolled in college, with a 97% retention rate.
Other awards include the TED Prize for his work in education, the Amnesty International Chair, the Heinz Award, the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award, Germany’s Albatross Award, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, and he has been named one of "Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People" in the world. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an honor society of the country’s 250 leading architects, artists, composers, and writers.
Sandra Farag has been working in libraries for almost 20 years. She started as a Page and worked her way up to her current role as a Youth Materials Selector, acquiring all formats for children ages birth to 18 for both the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library. In addition to her work at the NYPL and BPL, Sandra also spent five years volunteering at Rikers Island and juvenile detention centers, bringing library materials and providing programs to incarcerated populations. In 2016, she published an article for Library Journal regarding diversity in youth materials, “The Librarian's Role in Championing Diversity for Young Readers”. Currently, Sandra serves on YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee 2018 and ALSC’s Batchelder Award Committee 2019.