These five passages from this review should be translated for Friday's class.
Dave Eggers's latest book, Zeitoun, patiently unravels the harrowing tale of how Kathy Zeitoun, a Louisiana native who grew up in a southern Baptist family in Baton Rouge, came to be on the other end of that phone call in Phoenix, where she learned that her husband, who had been missing for two weeks, was still alive, and not, as she'd feared, murdered or drowned in the floodwaters still inundating the city of New Orleans
Zeitoun is an odd book, not beautifully written and not always entirely credible. It was produced with the assistance and approval of the Zeitoun family, and all author proceeds go to the Zeitoun Foundation, which is dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans.
What happens to Zeitoun in the days after the flood is spellbinding, and gradually you see what Eggers is after – nothing less than an indictment of the entire Bush era, of its whole xenophobic, anti-Islamic, militaristic, and belligerent take on the world beyond our sacred shores.
A war-crazy populace is encouraged to believe a drowned city is a war zone. The governor goes on TV to inform the miserable survivors who may consider looting that she has called in more National Guardsmen, and that "they have M16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will."
As for Zeitoun, he roasts for awhile in a Guantanamo-style cage behind the bus station, where the guards inform him that he is al-Qaida. When he is finally returned to his family he has lost 20 pounds and looks to his wife like "a sad old man".