Author: Dave Eggers

Title:  Zeitoun

Genre:  Non Fiction

Pub. Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 346

Geographical Setting: New Orleans

Time Period: Hurricane Katrina

Plot Summary:  Abdulrahman Zeitoun, his wife and four children are residents of New Orleans and owners of a successful contracting business when Hurricane Katrina hits. Zeitoun decides to ride the storm out in order to protect his house and business. After days of helping neighbors and those in need Zeitoun disappears. His family begin a harrowing search to discover what has happened. It will change forever the way they feel about this country, New Orleans and their place in it.

Subject Headings: Hurricane Katrina, Disaster victims, Louisiana New Orleans, Culture conflict

Appeal:  measured, engrossing, disturbing, emotionally-charged, moving, sobering, detailed, vivid, issue-oriented, thought-provoking, political, journalistic, thoughtful, informative

Three terms that best describe this book: issue-oriented, thought-provoking and moving

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Budhos – The story of three immigrant girls and the social adjustments they must face. Issue-oriented, thoughtful and moving story.

Little Bee by Chris Cleeve – Hits on political issues both in Africa and the U.S. Moving, disturbing and thought- provoking.

When We Were Strangers by The story of a young Italian immigrant woman working through tragedies such as the Chicago fire to find a better life. Vivid, moving and emotionally-charged.

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Pawprints of Katrina: Pets Saved and Lessons Learned by Cathy Scott – This heartwarming book introduces us to the stories of animals rescued after Hurricane Katrina. It would appeal to those interested in learning more about these rescues after reading about the trapped dogs that Zeitoun feed.

In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster by Susan Zakin – Haunting images that bring home the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in a visual way. A nice supplement for readers of Zeitoun who are interested in seeing for themselves the disastrous effects of a hurricane.

Isaac’s Storm: A man, A Time and the Deadliest Hurricane in History  by Erik Larson – A fast paced account told from the point of view of Isaac Cline, the senior U.S. Weather Bureau official in Galveston at the time. This is a different time and a different hurricane but may appeal to readers of Zeitoun who want another non fiction account of a devastating hurricane and it’s affect on the people who lived through it.

Mary Othic

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