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November 16 2019
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Dave Eggers in San Francisco, California.

The Captain and the Glory, Dave Eggers’s 12th book, is like a shiv: slim, sharp, and made to cut. In this case, it slices two ways. Not just through the hide of Donald Trump, but also through the madness of these strange times. On the surface, the tale is a simple one: When the beloved captain of the great ship Glory retires, a loud, clownish passenger on the boat with no experience steering a ship convinces the other passengers to make him captain, so that he can shake things up. And he does. Until one day a pirate—revered by the captain because he looks so handsome riding bare-chested on his horse—comes aboard the Glory. As with all allegories, the story reveals so much more …

air mail caught up with Eggers while he was in New York, for a beer and fries. He had just come from a frustrating experience at FedEx. “They have free Wi-Fi, so when I’m traveling, they’re my office. But it was down.”

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