Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hurricane Katrina

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers is a New York Times Notable Book, The Oprah Magazine Terrific Read of the Year, A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year, A New Yorker Favorite Book of the Year, A Chicago Tribune Favorite Nonfiction Book of the Year, A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year, A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year and An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Decade.

The true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina.
Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun run a house-painting business in New Orleans. In August of 2005, as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Kathy evacuates with their four young children, leaving Zeitoun to watch over the business. In the days following the storm he travels the city by canoe, feeding abandoned animals and helping elderly neighbors. Then, on September 6th, police officers armed with M-16s arrest Zeitoun in his home. Told with eloquence and compassion, Zeitoun is a riveting account of one family’s unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water.

Eggers, compiling his account from interviews, sensibly resists rhetorical grandstanding, letting injustices speak for themselves. His skill is most evident in how closely he involves the reader in Zeitoun’s thoughts. He allows the story to tell itself while imbuing Zeitoun's tragedy with deep sympathy and emotion. Although Eggers didn't witness Hurricane Katrina's devastation firsthand, he captures the experience through Zeitoun's eyes and approaches his subject very intimately.

This book sounds like a must-read!
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