Sally's Reviews > Zeitoun

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
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Aug 07, 09

Read in August, 2009

Zeitoun is a moving and eye-opening journalistic account of a much-loved and respected Syrian-born small business owner and resident of New Orleans in the days before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. Eggers worked closely with Abdulrahman Zeitoun (known simply as "Zeitoun") and his American wife Kathy to faithfully represent Zeitoun's experiences when he remained in New Orleans to supervise his residential properties and business sites following the hurricane.

Some of the most emotionally rich scenes are those that describe milestones in Zeitoun's childhood and introduce American readers to his extended family in Syria. The opening passage describing the custom of night-time fishing for sardines in Jableh, a small Syrian coastal fishing town, is stunning.

Eggers creates and sustains suspense as he recounts earnest rescue missions alongside incompetent and brutal security maneuvers intent on maintaining order. This is the eye-opening part of the account that was seldomly portrayed in the media. A worthwhile, accessible book - perfect for high school students and older.

A bonus is that all author proceeds from the sale of the book will go to benefit a wide assortment of non-profit organizations involved in promoting human rights and the ongoing rebuilding of New Orleans.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Katherine I'm reading it right now. Wow, talk about a page-turner... just sickening what happened to him.


Sally Katherine wrote: "I'm reading it right now. Wow, talk about a page-turner... just sickening what happened to him."

Hi Katherine! Yeah, he really went through a difficult trial. The good news now is that apparently he and is business are prospering. A colleague of mine visited New Orleans recently, and showed me a picture she took of a small bill board in New Orleans advertising his business. She was excited to stumble on it! (I admire Eggers very much. Hey, this makes me recall that we had a discussion of his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, on a walk in Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery many, many years ago!)


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