Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Don't read this book if you don't want to be upset by the U.S. government. This is a nonfiction book in which Eggers follows what happened to a Muslim family in New Orleans before, during and after the Katrina Hurricane. The husband, a building contractor, insisted on staying in New Orleans during the storm, sending his wife and children to stay with relatives in Baton Rouge. He was well-prepared and in the immediate aftermath of the storm, he was able to assist many people and animals with a canoe he owned. A week later, however, after National Guard and police from other places were sent in to maintain "order," things turned chaotic for him. He wound up getting arrested in his own home, held in a Guantanamo-style cage for several days and then put in a prison. He was not permitted to call his family nor a lawyer; he was not told the charges against him, and he was held without access to even a judge for three weeks before he was released.
Eggers is an excellent writer and this book contains no hint of the self-importance that turned me off about his first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. This book actually is a heartbreaking work of staggering genius and it's not about Eggers.