Afghanistan with A Thousand Splendid Suns


“What was it about a season’s first snowfall, Mariam wondered, that was so entrancing? Was it the chance to see something as yet unsoiled, untrodden? To catch the fleeting grace of a new season, a lovely beginning, before it was trampled and corrupted?”–Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

  • Here’s what happens:
    • This is the multi-dimensional saga of womanhood and all the grief and growth that goes along with it, set against the backdrop of revolutionary Afghanistan. Seen through the eyes–and, occasionally, burqas–of two women, Mariam and Laila, as their world is truly transformed in the paralyzing dichotomies between democracy and communism, feminism and Islam, independence and tradition.
  • It’s good because:
    • Khaled Hosseini is a wonderfully gifted writer, who makes a world that is shrouded in mystery come alive, even to a middle class, white, American female who couldn’t know less about the dynamics of a Muslim family in the Soviet-era Middle East. Hosseini writes with compelling humanity that appeals to every time you’ve felt uncertain or guilty or scared, and helps to draw connections between even the most disparate of cultures.
  • Read if:
    • You finished The Kite Runner and thought, “Holy cow, that was moving. I wonder what that experience was like for girls.”

Up next: The Democratic Republic of Congo with Michael Crichton’s Congo!


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