What Is the What by Dave Eggers

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What Is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan who flees from his village in the mid-1980s and becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys. Valentino’s travels bring him in contact with enemy soldiers, with liberation rebels, with hyenas and lions, with disease and starvation, and with deadly murahaleen (militias on horseback)–the same sort who currently terrorize Darfur. Eventually Deng is resettled in the United States with almost 4000 other young Sudanese men, and a very different struggle begins. Based closely on true experiences, What Is the What is heartbreaking and arresting, filled with adventure, suspense, tragedy, and, finally, triumph. From the Trade Paperback edition.

- Google

The 998th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 69th on Top 100 World Literature Titles (Perfection Learning)
  2. - 50 Books to (Re-)Read at 50 (nextavenue)
  3. - The 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years (Parade Magazine)

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  • What Is the What
    Image of What Is the What
    Sales Rank
    30080
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    Year Published
    2007