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Review
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“Imagine Charles Dickens, his sentimentality in check but his journalistic eyes wide open, roaming New
Orleans after it was buried by Hurricane Katrina. . . . Eggers’ tone is pitch-perfect—suspense blended with just enough
information to stoke reader outrage and what is likely to be a typical response: How could this happen in America? . . .
It’s the stuff of great narrative nonfiction. . . . Fifty years from now, when people want to know what happened to this
once-great city during a shameful episode of our history, they will still be talking about a family named Zeitoun.”
—Timothy Egan, The New York Times Book Review

“[A] heartfelt book, so fierce in its fury, so beautiful in its richly nuanced, compassionate telling of an American
tragedy, and finally, so sweetly, stubbornly hopeful.” —The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

“Zeitoun is a riveting, intimate, wide-scanning, disturbing, inspiring nonfiction account of a New Orleans married
couple named Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun who were dragged through their own special branch of Kafkaesque (for once the
adjective is unavoidable) hell after Hurricane Katrina. . . . [It’s] unmistakably a narrative feat, slowly pulling the
reader into the oncoming vortex without literary trickery or theatrical devices, reminiscent of Mailer’s Executioner’s
Song but less craftily self-conscious in the exercise of its restraint. Humanistic, that is, in the highest, best, least
boring sense of the word.” —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair

“A major achievement and [Eggers’s] best book yet.” —The Miami Herald

“Zeitoun offers a transformative experience to anyone open to it, for the simple reasons that it is not heavy-handed
propaganda, not eat-your-peas social analysis, but an adventure story, a tale of suffering and redemption, almost
biblical in its simplicity, the trials of a good man who believes in God and happens to have a canoe. Anyone who cares
about America, where it is going and where it almost went, before it caught itself, will want to read this thrilling,
heartbreaking, wonderful book.” —Neil Steiberg, Chicago Sun-Times

“Which makes you angrier—the authorities’ handling of Hurricane Katrina or the treatment of Arabs since Sept. 11, 2001?
Can’t make up your mind? Dave Eggers has the book for you. . . . Zeitoun is a warm, exciting and entirely fresh way of
experiencing Hurricane Katrina. . . . Eggers makes this account completely new, and so infuriating I found myself
panting with rage.” —Dan Baum, San Francisco Chronicle

“A masterpiece of compassionate reporting about a shameful time in our history.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“Eggers’s sympathy for Zeitoun is as plain and real as his style in telling the man’s story. He doesn’t try to dazzle
with heartbreaking pirouettes of staggering prose; he simply lets the surreal and tragic facts speak for themselves. And
what they say about one man and the city he loves and calls home is unshakably poignant—but not without hope.” —Chris
Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“Zeitoun is a story about the Bush administration’s two most egregious policy disasters—the War on Terror and the
response to Hurricane Katrina—as they collide with each other and come crashing down on one family. Eggers tells the
story entirely from the perspective of Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun, although he says he has vigorously double-checked
the facts and removed any inaccuracies from their accounts. At first, as a reader, I felt some resistance to this
tactic—could the Zeitouns possibly be as wholesome and all-American as Eggers depicts them?—but the sheer momentum,
emotional force and imagistic power of the narrative finally sweep such objections away.” —Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

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From the Inside Flap
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"This is a beautiful book. "Zeitoun" is a poignant, haunting, ethereal story about New Orleans in peril.
Eggers has bottled up the feeling of post- Katrina despair better than anyone else. This is a simple story with a
lingering
radiance. My admiration for the humanist spirit of Eggers knows no bounds."
-- Douglas Brinkley, author of "The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast"
""Zeitoun" is an American epic. The post-Katrina trials of Abdulrahman
Zeitoun would have baffled even Kafka's Joseph K. Though Zeitoun's story could have been a source of cynicism or
despair, Dave Eggers's clear and elegant prose manages to deftly capture many of the signature shortcomings of American
life while holding onto the innate optimism and endless drive to more closely match our ideals that Zeitoun and his
adopted land share. Juggling these contradictions, Eggers captures the puzzle of America." -- Billy Sothern, author of
"Down in New Orleans"
""Zeitoun" is a gripping and amazing story that highlights so much about the tragedy of Katrina, post-9/11 life for
Arabs and Muslims, and the beautiful nature of American multi-cultural society."
-- Yousef Munayyer, policy analyst, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
""Zeitoun" is an instant American classic carved from fierce eloquence and a haunting moral sensibility. By wrestling
with the demons of xenophobia and racial profiling that converged in the swirling vortex of Hurricane Katrina and
post-9/11 America, Eggers lets loose the angels of wisdom and courage that hover over the lives of the beleaguered, but
miraculously unbroken, Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun. This is a major work full of fire and wit by one of our most
important writers."
-- Michael Eric Dyson, author of "Come Hell or High Water"

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