About the Book
Zeitoun tells the true story of one man’s harrowing struggle to survive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The surreal scenes that the world witnessed on their televisions in late August and through the fall of 2005 are mirrored in the Kafkaesque experiences of one man, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American immigrant known simply as Zeitoun. A long-time resident of New Orleans, he and his wife Kathy operated a highly successful contracting business in the city when catastrophe struck.
As the hurricane descended, Kathy took their four children and fled to the safety of family in Baton Rouge. In spite of Kathy’s pleas, Zeitoun stayed behind to look after their home and business. As the flood waters rushed in he began to save lives and reach out to those in need by delivering supplies, feeding abandoned animals and looking after the property of others, all while traveling in a 16-foot aluminum canoe. With most communications out, he was unaware of the extent of the horrors going on in the Convention Center, Superdome, overpasses and elsewhere in the city.
After six days, anarchy finds him. Armed officers that Zeitoun believes have come to help him, instead arrest and incarcerate him in an outdoor cage serving as a jail. This jail had been newly constructed amidst the chaos on the grounds of the city’s bus terminal. Charged with no crime, Zeitoun was held among many for weeks in a lawless atmosphere in what became known as Camp Greyhound. Eventually he was taken to a jail in Louisiana, where he remained isolated for months as his wife tried desperately to find him and gain his release.
About the Author Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books including The Wild Things, Zeitoun, What Is the What and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. 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 and a quarterly DVD. He also wrote the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are and Away We Go. 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.
2010 Calendar of Events
An Evening with Author Dave Eggers Sunday, Aug. 29; 7 p.m.
East Lansing High School Auditorium, 509 Burcham Dr.
MSU Academic Welcome featuring Author Dave Eggers Monday, Aug. 30; 9 a.m-11 a.m.
Jack Breslin Student Events Center, MSU Campus
MSU College of Music Guest Artist Recital: Henry Butler and Professors of Jazz Wednesday, Sept. 1; 7:30 pm
Musician, composer and MSU College of Music alumnus Henry Butler will perform with the Professors of Jazz as part of the programming related to OBOC.
Wharton Center (Pasant Theatre) on MSU Campus
Exhibit: "Baron Samedi Visits His New Orleans", quilt made 2008-2010 by Diana N'Diaye The quilt is a commentary on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the people and cultures of New Orleans, and on the creolization of people in that region.
MSU Museum, West Circle Drive on MSU Campus
Writing Workshop led by MSU Professor Anita Skeen - The Way I Remember It Wednesday, Sept. 8, 15 & 22; 4-6 p.m. & 7-9 p.m.
East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road
This engaging writing workshop will include three weeks of creative writing and discussion, followed by a participant reading on Sept. 29 at 7:30 in the RCAH Theater.
Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" Monday, Sept. 13; 7 p.m. (part one)
Monday, Sept. 20 ; 7 p.m. (part two)
Watch the two-part documentary series about the devastation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Enjoy free popcorn.
East Lansing Public Library, 950 Abbot Road
A Taste of New Orleans Thursday, Sept. 16; 4-8 p.m.
Special-themed dinners in MSU residence halls dining facilities.
MSU Library Film Event: Trouble the Water Thursday, Sept. 16; 7 p.m.
This Academy Award nominated feature documentary takes you inside Hurricane Katrina. [learn more]
W499 Michigan State University Main Library, MSU Campus
Five Years Later: An Evening with Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun Sunday, Sept. 19; 7 p.m.
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center (Big Ten A), MSU Campus
New Orleans Levee Failures -- How Did this Happen? Tuesday, Sept. 21; 7-8:15 p.m.
1345 Engineering Auditorium, MSU Campus
Free public lecture covering the topics of levee failure in New Orleans.
Zeicussion: An Interactive Book Chat Thursday, Sept. 23; 7-8:30 p.m.
Join community members and book groups for a fast-paced, facilitated discussion, as well as some interactive activities related to the themes and events in the book.
East Lansing Hannah Community Center; 819 Abbot; Banquet Room
New Orleans Wine Dinner Thursday, Sept. 30; 7 p.m.
Enjoy an elegant dinner featuring New Orleans cuisine and wine prepared by Kellogg Center’s Executive Chef Michael Clyne and State Room Chef Matt Wilson. Cost: $65 inc. tax and gratuity.
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, State Room
New Orleans Study Away Program - Food, Culture & Politics in New Orleans (Spring semester 2011) Experience the excitement of living and learning about the unique food, culture and history of southern Louisiana with Michigan State University's Study Away Program. Students will also be required to engage in service learning (internships) which will be coordinated with cooperation from Tulane University.