Writer David Eggers has recently wrote a novel named “A Hologram for the King,” in which the story of a 54-year old American business man is told.
This businessman travels to Saudi Arabia in order to sell the holographic technology to the country.
However, the deal depends upon his presentation to the king, who might not even show up. David recently talked about the various aspects of this novel.
He said that the idea of this novel emerged from his discussion with his brother-in-law who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia.
The most important experience that his brother-in-law had in Saudi Arabia was to simply wait for the outcomes of his requests and decision. This constant waiting is the main theme of the novel.
David said that he traveled to Saudi Arabia a few years ago and spent a considerable amount of time in King Abdullah Economic City, a new development being built by the Red Sea.
The development process, however, was very slow due to the lack of international financing. Amid all this wait and strange hopefulness, he met with some very interesting people who had an image of KAEC being the most modern city of Saudi Arabia.
There is also, to a certain extent, the influence of Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ on this novel whose epigraph is a line from the play: “It is not every day that we are needed.”
The novel has an important character named Zahra Hakem who happens to be a doctor.
Talking about this character, David said that there are many women doctors and wealthy and influential women in Saudi Arabia.
He himself met a group of very enthusiastic and educated women who were working quite actively towards progress.
The writer further talked about the problems that an author can face while working on a non-fiction book. He said that “I say I’ll never do it again; it takes so much out of you. But then I go and do it again.”
However, this novel, A Hologram for the King, was a fiction and hence the entire process was quite enjoyable and liberating.