Dave Eggers s-a născut în 1970 în Boston, Massachusetts, într-o familie cu patru copii. Trecutul său nu este unul vesel şi însorit: la vârsta de 22 ani, Eggers s-a trezit orfan dar şi tată pentru fratele său mai mic, atunci când ambii părinţi au murit de cancer. Fiind nevoit să renunţe la şcoala de jurnalism pe care o începuse, acesta s-a mutat în California cu fratele său de opt ani şi cu prietena sa, începând o nouă viaţă plină de griji.
“When my parents passed on, and we read their wills, we discovered something we didn’t at all expect, especially from our devoutly Catholic mother: they had both left instructions that their bodies be donated to science. We were bewildered and we were pissed. They wanted their cadavers to be used by medical students, they wanted their flesh to be cut into and their cancerous organs examined. We were breathless. They wanted no elaborate funerals, no expense incurred for such stuff – they hated wasting money or time on ceremony, on appearances. When they died there was little left – the house, the cars. And their bodies, and they gave those away. To offer them to strangers was disgusting, wrong, embarrassing. And selfish to us, their children, who would have to live with the thought of their cold weight sinking on silver tables, surrounded by students chewing gum and making jokes about the location of freckles. But then again: Nothing can be preserved. It’s all on the way out, from the second it appears, and whatever you have always has one eye on the exit, and so screw it. As hideous and uncouth as it is, we have to give it all away, our bodies, our secrets, our money, everything we know: All must be given away, given away every day, because to be human means:
1. To be good
2. To save nothing”