What is the What

New York Times Notable Book. New York Times Bestseller.

What is the What is Dave Eggers' novel about one of the world's most brutal civil wars. Valentino Achak Deng is just a boy when conflict separates him from his family and forces him to leave his small Sudanese village, joining thousands of other orphans on their long, long walk to Ethiopia, where they find safety - for a time.

Along the way Valentino encounters enemy soldiers, liberation rebels and deadly militias, hyenas and lions, disease and starvation. But there are experiences ahead that will test his spirit in even greater ways than these. This book is epic in scope, and told with expansive humanity, deep compassion and unexpected humour.  What is the What is an eye-opening account of life amid the madness of war and an unforgettable tale of tragedy and triumph.

Paperback 560 pages. Published 2008.