Overview

In seguito all'uragano Kathrina, due residenti di lunga data a New Orleans, Abdulrahman e Kathy Zeitoun, si ritrovano a dover combattere una battaglia assurda contro forze che vanno ben oltre quelle del vento e dell'acqua. In questa opera di non fiction, sorprendente e profondamente umana, i lettori potranno vedere con occhi nuovi il peggior disastro naturale degli Stati Uniti, scoprendo tutte le speranze e le contraddizioni di un momento unico della storia americana. "Immaginatevi un Charles Dickens, meno ...
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Zeitoun (Versione italiana)

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Overview

In seguito all'uragano Kathrina, due residenti di lunga data a New Orleans, Abdulrahman e Kathy Zeitoun, si ritrovano a dover combattere una battaglia assurda contro forze che vanno ben oltre quelle del vento e dell'acqua. In questa opera di non fiction, sorprendente e profondamente umana, i lettori potranno vedere con occhi nuovi il peggior disastro naturale degli Stati Uniti, scoprendo tutte le speranze e le contraddizioni di un momento unico della storia americana. "Immaginatevi un Charles Dickens, meno sentimentale ma coi suoi occhi di giornalista ben spalancati, a zonzo per New Orleans, dopo l'uragano Kathrina... Il tono di Eggers è perfetto: suspense mista alla dose di informazione necessaria a muovere i lettori allo scandalo e a quella che probabilmente è la reazione tipica: come può essere successa una cosa del genere in America?... Questa è nonfiction narrativa di gran classe... Fra cinquant'anni, quando qualcuno vorrà capire cosa sia successo a quella che era stata una grande città in occasione di un evento così vergognoso della nostra storia, dovrà ancora fare i conti con una famiglia di nome Zeitoun..." "The New York Times Book Review" "Zeitoun è una storia emozionante e affascinante che mette perfettamente in luce la tragedia di Kathrina, la vita dopo l'11 settembre degli arabi e dei musulmani, e la splendida natura della società multiculturale americana." Yousef Munayyer, Comitato americano-arabo antidiscriminazione mcsweeneys.net voiceofwitness.org 826national.org valentinoachakdeng.org zeitounfoundation.org
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Editorial Reviews

Timothy Egan
In Zeitoun, what Dave Eggers has found in the Katrina mud is the full-fleshed story of a single family, and in telling that story he hits larger targets with more punch than those who have already attacked the thematic and historic giants of this disaster. It's the stuff of great narrative nonfiction. Eggers…has given us 21st-century Dickensian storytelling—which is to say, a character-driven potboiler with a point. But here's the real trick: He does it without any writerly triple-lutzes or winks of post­modern irony. There are no rants against President Bush, no cheap shots at the authorities who let this city drown. He does it the old-fashioned way: with show-not-tell prose, in the most restrained of voices.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) chronicles the tribulations of Syrian-born painting contractor Abdulrahman Zeitoun, who, while aiding in rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, was inexplicably arrested by military personnel and swept into a bureaucratic maelstrom of civil injustices. Audie Award nominee Firdous Bamji (The Enchantress of Florence) conveys the sense of pending disaster, the fear, the distress, and the ultimate sense of relief Zeitoun must have felt upon his release. This Kafkaesque story is sure to shock, horrify, and outrage listeners and will especially appeal to those who enjoy nonfiction survival stories. It should be required reading/listening to ensure that nothing like the events described here will ever be repeated. [The McSweeney's hc, published in July 2009, was a New York Times best seller; see also J. Sara Paulk's review of Eggers's The Wild Things, p. 60.—Ed.]—Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788852017186
  • Publisher: MONDADORI
  • Publication date: 10/7/2010
  • Language: Italian
  • Sold by: ARNOLDO MONDADORI - EBKS
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including his most recent, Zeitoun, a nonfiction account a Syrian-American immigrant and his extraordinary experience during Hurricane Katrina and What Is the What, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in southern Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, run by Mr. Deng and dedicated to building secondary schools in southern Sudan. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco that produces a quarterly journal, a monthly magazine (The Believer), and Wholphin, a quarterly DVD of short films and documentaries. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Boston. In 2004, Eggers taught at the University of California–Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and there, with Dr. Lola Vollen, he co-founded Voice of Witness, a series of books using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. A native of Chicago, Eggers graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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Reading Group Guide

1. “Notes About This Book” (xv) gives a sense of how the book was written, whose point of view it reflects, and Eggers’s efforts at accuracy and truth in his depiction of events. By choosing to portray the response to the hurricane through its effects on one family, what kind of story (or history) does he achieve?

2. The book opens with “Friday, August 26,” an expository chapter that introduces us to Zeitoun’s family life and his business life, the two very interconnected. What are some of the ways in which the descriptions here draw you in as a reader, and make these people and their situation real? Why is the timeline a good structural choice for this story?

3. Kathy has grown up as a Southern Baptist. Drawn to Islam through her childhood friend Yuko, she decides to convert. Why, when she comes to visit wearing her hijab, does her mother tell her, “Now you can take that thing off” (57)? Why does the prayer from the Qur’an quoted on page 51 have a strong effect on her? What does her reaction to the evangelical preacher who mocks Islam and says that Kathy’s temptation to convert was the work of the devil (65–66), say about Kathy’s character and intelligence?

4. Do Abdulrahman, Kathy and their children make up an unusual American family, or not? How would you describe the relationship between Zeitoun and Kathy, in marriage and in business? What effect does their religion have on the way others in the community see them? 

5. Why has Eggers woven into the story accounts of Zeitoun’s past in Syria, his upbringing, his brother Mohammed, the champion swimmer, his brother Ahmad, and their close bond? What effect does this framework of family have on your perception of Zeitoun’s character, his ethics, his behavior?

6. The plight of the neighborhood’s abandoned dogs comes to Zeitoun’s attention as “a bewilderment, an anger in their cries that cut the night into shards” (93). The next day, he sets out in the canoe and tries to do what he can for animals and people trapped by the flood. How does Zeitoun feel about what he is doing? How does he think about these days after he has been imprisoned (262–64)? 

7. Discuss what happens when Zeitoun and the others are forced to get into the boat and are taken into custody. Is it clear why they are being arrested? What assumptions are made about Zeitoun and the other three men (275–87)?

8. Part IV (203–90) tells the story of Zeitoun’s imprisonment. Here we learn in great detail how Zeitoun is denied the right to call Kathy, how his injured foot is not attended to, how the other men are beaten, stripped, and starved, how he prays constantly, yet loses hope. What is the impact, as you read, of this narrative?

9. “Zeitoun is a more powerful indictment of America’s dystopia in the Bush era than any number of well-written polemics” (Timothy Egan, New York Times, August 13, 2009). Would you agree with this statement? Can Zeitoun be read as a contribution to the history of hurricane Katrina and the failure of government to handle the disaster effectively?

10. Discuss Kathy’s situation, and her actions once she learns where Zeitoun is. The aftermath is more difficult, and she still suffers from physical and psychological problems that seem to be the result of post-traumatic stress. What was the most traumatic part of her experience, and why (319)?

11. Given that the other men who were imprisoned with Zeitoun were held much longer than he was, and that Nasser lost his life savings, is it surprising that these men were not compensated in any way for their time in prison (320–21)?

12. What is Zeitoun’s feeling now about what happened? How does he move forward into the future, as expressed in the book’s closing pages (322-25)?

13. If you have read What is the What, Eggers’ novel about Sudanese refugee Valentino Achak Deng, how does Zeitoun compare? Discuss Eggers’ approach to writing about traumatic regional and political events through the lives of individuals impacted by them.
 
(For a complete list of available reading group guides, and to sign up for the Reading Group Center enewsletter, visit www.readinggroupcenter.com)

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