Describes how Abdulrahman Zeitoun remained in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, his subsequent efforts to help other victims, his disappearance a week later, and the effect of these events on his wife Kathy and their children.
Dave Eggers returns to his journalistic roots with this nonfiction account of one family's surreal experiences in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a Syrian immigrant who seems to epitomize the American dream. In 2005, he was running his own successful business while raising four children with his wife, Kathy, an American who converted to Islam. When Katrina hit, Zeitoun's home and business sustained serious damage, but they were salvageable, and he chose to remain in the city to protect them. He found himself paddling a canoe through the eerie silence of the flooded streets of the city, lending a hand to various people in need whenever possible. Then, he vanished.
Eggers spent three years researching these events and working closely with the Zeitoun family to understand what happened, and the disturbing details of story he uncovered illustrate the atmosphere of fear which pervaded the Big Easy in the wake of the disaster. He uses Zeitoun's experience to brilliantly illuminate how the most pertinent issues of our time--xenophobia, terrorism, the flawed justice system, and FEMA's abysmal response to Katrina--are mere branches protruding from a trunk of distrust between the American government and the citizens of the world. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2009.
- Nature, History, Biography + Autobiography
- United States / 21st Century, Natural Disasters, General
- July 15, 2009
- July 15, 2009
- Dave Eggers