Book by Eggers Dave
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"Imagine Charles Dickens, his sentimentality in check but his journalistic eyes wide open, roaming New Orleans after it was buried by Hurricane Katrina.... Eggers's tone is pitch-perfect--suspense blended with just enough information to stoke reader outrage and what is likely to be a typical response: How could this happen in America?... It's the stuff of great narrative nonfiction.... Fifty years from now, when people want to know what happened to this once-great city during a shameful episode of our history, they will still be talking about a family named Zeitoun."
-- Timothy Egan, "The New York Times Book Review"
""Zeitoun" is a riveting, intimate, wide-scanning, disturbing, inspiring nonfiction account of a New Orleans married couple named Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun who were dragged through their own special branch of Kafkaesque (for once the adjective is unavoidable) hell after Hurricane Katrina.... [It's] unmistakably a narrative feat, slowly pulling the reader into the oncoming vortex without literary trickery or theatrical devices, reminiscent of Mailer's "Executioner's Song" but less craftily self-conscious in the exercise of its restraint. Humanistic, that is, in the highest, best, least boring sense of the word."
-- James Wolcott, "Vanity Fair"
"A fiercely elegant and simply eloquent tale.... So fierce in its fury, so beautiful in its richly nuanced, compassionate telling of an American tragedy, and finally, so sweetly, stubbornly hopeful."
-- Susan Larson, "New Orleans Times-Picayune"
"In "Zeitoun," [Eggers] tells a story made more upsetting by the fact that although it surpasses our worst nightmares, it is absolutely true. A major achievement and [Eggers'] best book yet."
-- Andrew Ervin, "Miami Herald"
"Eggers' sympathy for Zeitoun is as plain and real as his style in telling the man's story. He doesn't try to dazzle with heartbreaking pirouettes of staggering prose; he simply lets the surreal and tragic facts
When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. Eggers's riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun's roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy -- an American who converted to Islam -- and their children, and the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun was possible. Like "What Is the What," "Zeitoun" was written in close collaboration with its subjects and involved vast research -- in this case, in the United States, Spain, and Syria.
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