Dave Eggers, flamboyantly humble, ashamed of his success, wallowing in that same success, the biggest dork of all, has second-order vanity, bad. He has had it since he edited the irreverent, sometimes hilarious, and ultimately shallow Might magazine. He thinks quite a lot of himself, but he knows that is not good. Consider the author photo for his first book, the mega-block-buster Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The photo is blurry; author photos do not matter to him. In the blurry picture, there are two dogs and a bird, as if he were saying: “Don’t look at me, look at these two dogs, and this odd bird on my shoulder.” The bio states that Eggers has no pets. “Think about it: there are three animals in the photo, none of them mine.” One tends to look at the author photo for a very long time to figure out what is going on. Now everyone knows what he looks like. He is...


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