Writing process

Eggers began work on the book in 2006, after meeting Kathy and Abdulrahman through another McSweeney's project called Voices from the Storm. He worked closely with the Zeitoun family while researching and writing the book, meeting with them multiple times in New Orleans and letting them read six or seven versions of the manuscript.[1] Eggers also visited members of the Zeitoun family living in Syria, as well as Abdulrahman's brother Ahmad, who lives in Spain.

Eggers said he would not personally make money from the book's publication; funds from the book would be distributed by the Zeitoun Foundation, a nonprofit set up by Eggers and the Zeitoun family.[1]

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