Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
I typically give Dave Eggers a hard time. I couldn't finish the last book of his I started. I find difficulty swallowing the pop fiction he burst onto the scene with. Sure he's clever, there is wit and sarcasm littered throughout the pages, but it seemed for me, that these are sparks which ignite nothing. This all goes to say that I really think Eggers is moving away from his former reputation. Zeitoun is such an incredible story, a non-fiction account of the Zeitoun family's experience of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It is flabberghasting, eye-opening, and endearing. Unfortunately (tragically, ironically), the most surprising element is how unsurprising the injustices and circumstances are. The more I read/hear/encounter about Katrina, even 5 years later, the more my heart breaks and the more I realize the resources for recovery have not been and are still not there. Eggers takes the back seat as author on this one. He respectfully "dissappears" from the scene and allows the story to be devoured. Becuase we all know something of the cluster **mess** Katrina was for NOLA, you can imagine that I could do nothing but read the story with a notably intense sense of urgency. It's remarkable, truly. If you're looking for something captivating and quick, that isn't a huge time investment although definitely an emotional one, this book is fantastic.
In addition, all author proceedes go to the Zeitoun Foundation, founded in 2009 by the Zeitoun family, the author, and McSweeny's. Its purpose is to aid in the rebuilding of New Orleans and to promote respect for human rights in the United States and around the world. The Zeitoun Foundation will serve as grantor of funds generated form this book; the first group of recipients include the following nonprofit organizations: http://www.rebuildingtogether.org/, http://www.thegreenproject.org/, www.thejusticecenter.org/lcac, http://www.ip-no.org/, http://www.meenamag.com/, www.ny2no.net/theporch, http://www.ccano.org/, http://www.irw.org/, http://www.theneworleansinstitute.org/, http://www.neighborhoodstoryproject.org/, www.tulane.edu/~msa/, http://thelensnola.org/, http://www.nocca.com/