Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Stories about individuals who surmount tragedy are always inspiring. Dave Eggers writes about one family's ordeal during the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans in 2005. When his wife and four children evacuated, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-born American citizen, stayed behind to look after their home, rental properties, and painting contract business. Zeitoun made himself very useful. For more than a week, he paddled around in a canoe, helping people and left-behind pets. It's all very heartwarming. And then Zeitoun was arrested on suspicion of terrorism. His story becomes so nightmarish as to be nearly unbelievable. There are a few slower moments in the book, but overall it is a gripping read. Read an interview with Zeitoun in The Guardian. Another great book about survivors of Hurricane Katrina is the graphic novel, A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld.

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