Zeitoun (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun is a frightening book, telling a story of terrible and unexpected consequences of the terrorist threat to the United States. An immigrant from Syria, Abdulrahman Zeitoun in 2005 had lived and worked in the United States for seventeen years, the last eleven in New Orleans. Through hard work, he built a successful business, “Zeitoun A. Painting Contractor LLC,” as the logo on his old truck read. With his wife Kathy handling the office and administrative owrk, Zeitoun had multiple job sites in the city. Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun and their three daughters, plus Kathy’s son, lived together in their two-story house on Dart Street. The Zeitouns also owned a combined office-warehouse space, as well as six rental properties with eighteen tenants.
Then, Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. Kathy fled with the children, first to a sister’s house in Baton Rouge and then to the home of a childhood friend in a suburb of Phoenix. Zeitoun stubbornly refused to leave. He had properties to watch over, he told his wife, and their home would be safer if he was there to patch holes and fix leaks. When the levees failed, Zeitoun carried valuables to the second story of their house and waited out the storm. Soon, he was sleeping on the roof in a tent and paddling around the city in an old canoe. He helped rescue others who remained in the city and needed help, and he fed dogs that were abandoned by their owners. He ran into other...
(The entire section is 1872 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
American Heritage 59, no. 4 (Winter, 2010): 98.
Library Journal 135, no. 1 (January 1, 2010): 63.
The New York Times Book Review, August 16, 2009, p. 1.
The New Yorker 85, no. 26 (August 31, 2009): 79.
People 72, no. 10 (September 7, 2009): 56.
The Sunday Times (London), August 23, 2009, p. 19.
The Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2009, p. W7.
(The entire section is 37 words.)