McSweeney's founder Dave Eggers will return this fall with a new novel called The Circle, according to an item on the website of the publisher Alfred A. Knopf. Dave Eggers won early acclaim with the memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, but he has also shown an affinity for fictional tales: his latest novel, A Hologram for the King, was named a National Book Award finalist.
The very short time period between the new book's announcement and its imminent release is also noteworthy, as that leaves little room for publicity to build. Apparently, that's how Eggers likes it. "Dave Eggers is perfecting the art of sneaking onto bookshelves," writes John Williams of The New York Times.
According to a Knopf summary, The Circle will follow tech worker Mae Holland as she joins a powerful Google-like Internet company basking in its own success with parties, brunches, and office aquariums. Soon, though, things start to fall apart: "What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge."
This is a new subject for Eggers, a writer who has shown nearly boundless energy and few limits to his pursuits, having written about Sudan What Is the What and New Orleans residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in Zeitoun. He also adapted Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are — and founded both the 826 Valencia literacy centers and the McSweeney's empire.
Review copies of The Circle have not yet been mailed, so there is little indication of what the novel is actually like. That will only contribute to the suspense in coming weeks.