Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. New York: Vintage Books, 2009.
Reason read: Louisiana was founded in the month of April.
For the rest of the world, Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of her horrible devastation are receding images in the rear view mirror; images replaced by other natural and man-made disasters of bigger and nastier proportions. To the rest of the world what happened in New Orleans is fast becoming a series of footnotes in history’s troubled narrative. But, for the people of New Orleans, the nightmare is far from over. Zeitoun is just one man’s story. A man who stayed to wait out the storm. A man who tried to help those in need wherever and however he could. A man caught up in racial profiling, prejudices, and fast-ignited bad judgements. There were hundred of stories just like his. Dave Eggers makes the story more interesting than run of the mill.
When it was all said and done, I had to wonder about Zeitoun’s character. Here was a man who stubbornly made his wife and child walk four hours one way on a beach to reach a rock formation he could see in the distance.
As an aside, I tried to not let the rest of Zeitoun’s public story change how I read Eggers’s book. Like everyone else, I Googled Zeitoun and found out about his violent behavior towards his wife and their legal battles. So sad.
Quotes to quote, “The winds were still many days from being relevant to his life” (p 24).
Author fact: Dave Eggers was born in Boston and is my age.
Book trivia: Oddly enough, even though there are photographs in Zeitoun they are of his family and not what everyone would expect, of the devastation in New Orleans.
Nancy said: Nancy outlines the basic plot of Zeitoun.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “News From N’Orleans” (p 155).