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Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Title: Zeitoun
Author: Dave Eggers
Format: Paperback
Publisher: McSweeney's
Publish Date: July 15, 2009
Source: Borrowed

What's the Story?:

From "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"

My Two Cents:

"Zeitoun" is the story of a man who survives Hurricane Katrina. This book is by David Eggers and it feels like longform journalism, which I love. Eggers draws on a lot of sources in order to make readers feel what it would've been like to not only be an outsider as Zeitoun is a immigrant. Hurricane Katrina was very devastating to the entire city of New Orleans and even 10 years later, it continues to shadow parts of the city.

This is an incredibly moving book. Zeitoun not only lives through such a catastrophic event. He not only loses his home but he faces racism as he is trying to recreate his life during a very scary time. This book made me think a lot. It's definitely a book where you end up putting yourself in the people's shoes in the book.

This book is one that will stick with you for a very long time. I think Americans especially forget a lot from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The authors seeks to simply show what Zeitoun's life was like. He doesn't really offer any of his own commentary, which works very well. Zeitoun's plight is offered without comment. This book is incredibly compelling and will be enjoyed by a variety of readers.



  1. Thanks for sharing a book I never would have found on my own. I have been to NO many times and lived on the Gulf Coast off and on for more than ten years. I now call it home. I was lucky not to be here for Ivan or Katrina and we made it through another hurricane season without one. Glad you enjoyed the book and I think I would too.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. Ooo, I would love to hear your thoughts once you read the book, especially with you living on the Gulf Coast!


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