June 14, 2007 04:00 PM

Jolie-watchers want to know: What’s that book Angelina was seen carrying Wednesday in New York City?

What Is the What, by Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), is a “fictionalized autobiography” of a real-life Sudanese refugee named Valentino Achak Deng. Jolie actually makes a cameo in the story, as Deng recounts his immigration to the United States and his encounter with the actress.

“Ms. Jolie walked in, accompanied by a grey-haired man in a baseball cap,” Deng says in chapter 13. “The two of them sat on a couch. … I had no idea who she was; I was told she was an actress of some kind, and when I met her, she did look like an actress – she had the same careful poise, the same flirtatious eye of Miss Gladys, my extremely attractive drama teacher in Kakuma, and so I liked her immediately.”

The book’s topic is close to Jolie’s heart: In March, she and Brad Pitt donated $100,000 to help build a medical facility in the Sudan, and Pitt executive produced the documentary God Grew Tired of Us, about the young refugees known as the Lost Boys of the Sudan.

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