Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Zeitoun is the last name of the main character in Dave Eggers' non-fiction novel [?] about one man's journey and survival during the days after Katrina ravaged New Orleans in September of 2005. Eggers notes that "this book does not attempt to be an all-encompassing book about New Orleans or Hurricane Katrina. It is only an account of one family's experiences before and after the storm."

Kathy and Abdulrahman Zeitoun [pronounced "zay-toon"] own their own painting and contractor business in New Orleans. When word came to evacuate with the approaching storm, much to Kathy's dismay, her husband Abdulrahman decided to stay in the city to wait out the storm and see to their business as well as to protect their home and rental property.

Kathy packed up their van and their four children and fled to Baton Rouge and later to Phoenix, Arizona, all the while concerned about her separation from her husband. The trauma and stress that both of them suffered during this separation has had lasting effects on their health and sense of security.

Abdulrahman's story is an ugly one, and in his story, no one looks worse than the military of the United States and the local law enforcement.

There were moments when I hesitated as to whether I would finish this book. I reminded myself that this was "Zeitoun's story" and not the only story of those chaos filled days of lawlessness and bad human behavior in a town torn apart by a natural disaster.

ETA: Thank you, my friends and readers, for all of your kind comments about Keats. :(


  1. Are you an Eggers fan usually?

  2. Curious about his source materials for this "non-fiction novel (?)"... heartbreaking, though. Heard a New Orleans evacuation story from a couple at my mom's retirement party.