Valentino Achak Deng to speak at Rozsa Apr. 3
HOUGHTON -- Valentino Achak Deng, real-life hero of Dave Eggers’ What is the
What, will present a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 3, in the Rozsa
Center for the Performing Arts on the Michigan Tech University campus.
Deng was a refugee from the Sudanese civil war of the 1980s and 90s. Through
Eggers' What is the What -- hailed by the New York Times as
"an extraordinary work of witness, and of art" -- Deng becomes an icon of globalization. Separated from his family when Arab militia destroy his village, Deng becomes a "Lost Boy," beset by starvation, thirst and man-eating lions on a march to squalid refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. He eventually reaches America, but finds his quest for safety, community and fulfillment in many ways even more difficult here than in the camps. Deng’s story is by turns harrowing, funny, bleak and
lyrical -- a horrific account of Sudanese tragedy, but also an emblematic saga of modernity, of the search for home and self in a world of unending upheaval.
|Valentino Achak Deng, real-life hero of Dave Eggers’
What is the What, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 3,
in the Rozsa Center on the MTU campus. (Photo © 2007 and courtesy The Valentino Achak Deng
"[What is the What] has managed to cross many barriers both real
and artificial to tell the story of one man’s tragedy and triumph in a way
that emphasizes his simple humanity above the drama of his terrible situation.
It is a book that shows there is no reason why geographical and cultural divides
should prevent us from attempting to understand each other as citizens of this
world." -- UZODINMA IWEALA, author of Beasts of No Nation
“I cannot recall the last time I was this moved by a novel. What Is the
What is that rare book that truly deserves the overused and scarcely
warranted moniker of 'sprawling epic.' Told with humor, humanity, and bottomless
compassion for his subject, one Valentino Achak Deng, Eggers shows us the
hardships, disillusions, and hopes of the long suffering people of southern
Sudan. This is the story of one boy’s astonishing capacity to endure atrocity
after atrocity and yet refuse to abandon decency, kindness, and hope for home
and acceptance. It is impossible to read this book and not be humbled,
enlightened, transformed. I believe I will never forget Valentino Achak
Deng." -- KHALED HOSSEINI, author of The Kite Runner
For more information, contact Matt Seigel at 906.487.2016 or email@example.com,
or contact the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at 906.487.3200.
The lecture is sponsored by The Michigan Tech Department of Humanities, the
Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer Series, World Cultures Faculty, Pank: A
Review of New Writing and Art, The Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, and
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