This is the assertion that I cannot get over, that haunts me as I try to assimilate Dave Egger's Zeitoun.
In all my voluminous reading, I've never encountered anything quite like this magical work of truthful non-fiction. Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his wife Kathy survived both Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent terrified security regime that brought terror to their home. They emerged ready to tell their tale. Eggers was there to hear and construct it for us to share. He is a novelist, writer, editor, publisher -- and on the strength of this volume, a most sensitive witness to the vagaries our fragile civilization.
The Zeitoun clan came out of a Syrian port and its trajectory seemed bound up with the sea. No wonder, somehow, that Abdulrahman came ashore and into married life in New Orleans.
Following Abdulrahman about the drowned city in the days after the storm, we learn that devastation can contain beauty. Following Kathy in exile from her husband and city after the storm, we learn that that the one who seems to escape can also suffer.
One myth that dies in this book: no one should assume that Muslims can't abide dogs.
I'm not going to tell more here. Just read it if you have not yet done so.
San Francisco bus shelter ad.