Jennifer Reese
November 05, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

How We Are Hungry

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dave Eggers
publisher
McSweeney's Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

The 15 stories in Dave Eggers’ handsome new collection, How We Are Hungry, range from droll, plotless two-page stunts to long, haunting character-driven narratives. In the clever one-paragraph ”Naveed,” a young woman frets about sleeping with an attractive man she’s brought home because doing so will bring her lifetime total of lovers to a ”baker’s dozen” — which she thinks will surely upset her hypothetical future husband. Eggers is a master of these sharp, silly exercises, but he’s capable of much more. In the book’s finest, darkest story, ”Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly,” a woman on the cusp of middle age climbs Mount Kilimanjaro, her moods shifting fluidly from joy to regret, exhaustion, boredom, competitiveness, and, ultimately, horror.

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