|dc.description.abstracten||Media coverage of crises is short-lived and, in news reports, the voices of the victims are often reduced to the dimensions of the sound-bite. This paper aims to explore how one American publishing company, McSweeney’s, owned and managed by the writer, Dave Eggers, provides a less ephemeral and more comprehensive platform where the voices of victims of crises of different types can be heard.
Helen Chupin will examine in greater detail McSweeney’s role in bringing to the attention of the public the experiences of the victims of Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans in 2005 and, more particularly, the fate of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American, who remained in New Orleans during the floods, and who was wrongly arrested and imprisoned, the victim of the breakdown of the system of law enforcement in the city in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Two publications will be examined which present different narrative strategies but which both relate Zeitoun’s experience:
Ed. Young, Chris and Vollen, Lola, Voices from the Storm, McSweeney’s/ Voice of Witness: San Francisco, 2005.
Eggers, Dave, Zeitoun, McSweeney’s Books: San Francisco, 2009.
Through an analysis of both texts, setting them against the background of other media representations of the crisis and, notably, of television documentaries which have continued to return to this subject over the last six years, Helen Chupin will assess the nature of the strategic choices made by each publication concerning narrative form and the effects such choices are likely to produce on the reader.||en