Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

John Young

Second Advisor

Mary Moore

Third Advisor

Katharine Rodier


In 2002 Dave Eggers (who had just come off of the success of a Pulitzer Prize nominated memoir about the death of his parents and the influx of cash that ensued) published a novel titled You Shall Know Our Velocity. Within three years the novel underwent significant alterations that changed the plot’s original meaning. Most notably, some of the printings of the novel contain an additional section of text called “An Interruption” written by the best friend (Hand) of the original narrator (Will); this additional text destroys Will’s original plot and makes the reader question the reliability of the text. In addition to (un)reliable narration, this thesis will explore how the novel and its journey have made an impact on the social world of publishing through Velocity’s editorial changes and metatextuality. I have also included my own creative interruption to demonstrate how difficult it can be to discern reliable narration from unreliable narration.


Narration (Rhetoric)

Eggers, Dave. -- You shall know our velocity.