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Reader’s Den

A Thousand Splendid Suns


The Reader's Den book discussion for June will be A Thousand Splendid Suns.

According to the book jacket and his website, Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. He moved to the United States in 1980 with his family. He earned a medical degree in 1993 and was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was published in 2003 and became an international bestseller and, later, a successful movie.

His second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was published in 2007, and the in-print total for the hardcover is currently over 2,000,000. Hosseini is goodwill envoy for the UNHCR.

Numbers do not lie. Both books are riveting and the author's style is often poetic. Before reading Suns, it may be helpful to read a brief overview of the position of women under the Taliban on the website.

Suns is not only addictive fiction but also a revelation for those interested in lesser-known cultures and societies. The two protagonists—Mariam and Laila—remain in the memory long after we put the book down.

I will post discussion questions on June 10 and June 17, and we should be able to wrap up the discussion by June 20.


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A Thousand Splendid Suns by

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is one of my favorite books. While I was aware of the plight of women in places like Afghanistan from watching the news or reading articles in the newspapers, I had never fully realized the suffering these women experience. Hosseini’s depiction of the hardships Mariam and Laila endured simply because they were born females in a male dominant and oppressive society opened my eyes to what thousands of REAL women in countries like this probably face every day. It was hard to read at times, but I am glad I did. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a powerful book and one that I will never forget. Great pick and I look forward to participating in the discussion.

Thanks, Lynda. You raise an

Thanks, Lynda. You raise an excellent point about the plight of women in Afghanistan. The rawa website lists the "laws" the Taliban put forward for men and women and the penalties for violations are extremely harsh (as we see in the book). Keep posting!

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