Published July 2009 by McSweeney’s
The first few pages of this non-fiction account of a Syrian-born American (Zeitoun), who opts to stay in a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans post-hurricane, at first seems amateurish – straight-forward writing, little description.
But Eggers, master of telling unknown heroes’ stories (see What Is the What) grips you as you begin to truly know these real people, grasp the horror of the storm and bear witness to the truly despicable acts people “following orders” are capable of.
Human nature and the choices we make under completely extenuating circumstances are what this story is about.
The injustice – as well as the confusing need to empathize with the people committing these injustices – stays with you long after the last page.
About Ali Cairns
As you may be able to tell from her recommendation, she’s a fan of the compound adjective and the aside—whether in brackets or between n-dashes, it’s the same to her.