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A Thousand Splendid Suns
Cover of A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Novel
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After more than two years on the bestseller lists, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel of enormous contemporary relevance. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking...
After more than two years on the bestseller lists, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel of enormous contemporary relevance. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking...
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  • After more than two years on the bestseller lists, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel of enormous contemporary relevance.
    A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

    Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment.
 

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About the Author-

  • Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, published in forty countries. In 2006 he was named a U.S. envoy to UNHCR, The United Nations Refugee Agency. He lives in northern California.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Atossa Leoni, who starred in the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's first novel, THE KITE RUNNER, is not a professional audiobook narrator. This is evident in her rather uninflected reading of Hosseini's current novel. But the strength of this emotional, frequently painful story of two generations of characters living in war-torn Afghanistan shines through the somewhat halting narration. In the book, three decades of war are seen through the prism of the lives of Miriam and Laila, both married to a despotic, unsuccessful shoemaker named Rasheed. The story is Dickensian in its novelistic approach to exploring societal evils and its portrayal of the redemptive power of sacrificial love. A.C.S. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 28, 2007
    Atossa Leoni, who is German-born of Afghan ancestry, was clearly chosen because she can pronounce all the Afghan words—a big plus, but it’s the only plus in this bad reading. Dropping her voice on the last word of every sentence, her phrasing is regularly rendered ungrammatical by breaks at the wrong points. Her narrow vocal range makes for a dull and often difficult listening experience. Despite the reader, the book holds the listener thanks to Hosseini’s riveting story—an in-depth exploration of Afghan society in the three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban cruelty. He impels us to empathize with and admire those most victimized by Afghan history and culture—women. Mariam, a 15-year-old bastard whose mother commits suicide, is married off to 40-year-old Rasheed, who abuses her brutally, especially after she has several miscarriages. At 60, Rasheed takes in 14-year-old Laila, whose parents were blown up by stray bombs. He soon turns violent with her. Although Laila is united with her childhood beloved, the potential return of the Taliban always shadows their happiness. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 26).

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 26, 2007
    Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner
    with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny—"There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten"—is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.

  • AudioFile Magazine Khaled Hosseini's much anticipated second novel returns to the land of THE KITE RUNNER, covering thirty years of Afghanistan's volatile history--from the the Soviet invasion through the Taliban's reign to post-Taliban rebuilding--through the lives of ordinary people. It's a riveting listening experience, brought to life by Atossa Leoni's compelling narration. Her Afghan-Iranian ancestry gives her voice authority, making this foreign culture seem more familiar. She breathes life into the two women, Mariam and Laila, whose lives become inextricably intertwined and interdependent. This is a powerful story that reminds us of the strong desire of the human spirit to survive and triumph, even on the bloody, inhumane canvas of war, poverty, discrimination, and ignorance. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine

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