Zeitoun by Dave Eggers is an amazing look at one man’s experience during Hurricane Katrina.
Hard working successful Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian American contractor, living in the Uptown district of New Orleans, decides to wait out the storm as his as his wife and children leave town to escape the storm. He stay to look after their property, business, and rentals and ends up surprised by how brutal the storm is when it hits. As the water rises he uses a canoe to help others. He keeps in touch with his wife by phone when the story takes a huge twist that reveals the underbelly of some of the happenings few of us have read about. This book was my first introduction to McSweeney’s, but it led me to another book about Katrina an oral history they also published entitled Voices from the Storm.
Part of the “Voices of Witness” series, this book is an oral history in Studs Terkel’s finest tradition. From their website, “Voice of Witness is a nonprofit book series that empowers those most closely affected by contemporary social injustice. Using oral history as a foundation, the series depicts human rights crises around the world through the stories of the men and women who experience them. Voice of Witness was founded by author Dave Eggers and physician/human rights scholar Lola Vollen, and is the nonprofit division of McSweeney’s Books.”
Voices from the Storm: The People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath is a collection of words from thirteen residents of New Orleans about Hurricane Katrina. One of the most powerful books about the storm it gives great insights into the culture and belief of the city’s residents like nothing else i have read. It’s in their own words and that is what makes it so moving. The book includes some salient facts that few people know about the city and leaves each reader to decide where the truth lies among the various perspectives presented.