Book Review On A Thousand Splendid Suns English Literature Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Khaled Hosseini (born March 4, 1965) is a novelist and physician, who was born in Afghanistan. Since he was 15, he has lived in the United States, where he is a citizen. His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, selling in more than 12 million copies worldwide. His second, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was released on May 22, 2007. In 2008, the book was the bestselling novel in the UK (as of April 11, 2008), with more than 700,000 copies sold.

INTRODUCTION TO AUTHOR:

Hosseini was born in Kabul where his father worked for the Afghanistan Foreign Ministry. In 1970, Hosseini and his family moved to Tehran, Iran, where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan. In 1973, Hosseini's family returned to Kabul, and Hosseini's youngest brother was born in July of that year.

In 1976, Hosseini's father obtained a job in Paris, France and moved the family there. They chose not to return to Afghanistan because PDPA had seized power through a bloody coup in April 1978. Instead, in 1980 they sought political asylum in the United States and made their residence in San Jose, California.

Hosseini graduated from Independence High School in San Jose in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1988. The following year, he entered the University of California 'San Diego', School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1993. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1996. He practiced medicine until a year and a half after the release of The Kite Runner.

Hosseini is currently a Goodwill representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He lives in Northern California with his wife, Roya, and their two children.

Khaled Hosseini's target audience is adult readers who enjoy mature, realistic fiction. And he has satisfied his readers to a very great extent, which is evident from the reviews in daily times, Sunday express, New York daily news, booklist, image and many other magazines; which young adults preferred reading and contribute in it through expression of writing.

REVIEW OF NOVEL:

Khaled Hosseini's first novel Kite Runner, in which the hero spends his life in harmony for an act of spinelessness and betrayal committed in his youth. It not only gave readers an close look at Afghanistan and the difficulties of life there, but it also showed off its author's accessible and very traditional storytelling talents: his taste for sensational plotlines; sharply drawn, black-and-white characters; and essential boldfaced emotions.

In the case of "Splendid Suns," Mr. Hosseini quickly makes it clear that he meant to deal with the troubles of women in Afghanistan, and in the opening pages the mother of one of the novel's two heroines talks arrogantly about "our grouping in life," the lot of poor, uneducated "women like us" who have to endure the hardships of life, the slights of men, the disregard of society.

This clumsy opening quickly gives way to even more soap-opera events: after her mother commits suicide, the teenage Mariam - the dishonest daughter of a wealthy man, who is ashamed of her existence - is quickly married off to a much older shoemaker named Rasheed, a piggy creature of a man who says it embarrasses him "to see a man who's lost control of his wife." Rasheed forces Mariam to wear a burqa and treats her with ill-disguised contempt, subjecting her to disrespect, ridicule, insults, even "walking past her like she was nothing but a house cat." Mariam lives in fear of "his shifting moods, his unpredictable temperament, his firmness on navigation even ordinary interactions down a insulting path that, on occasion, he would resolve with punches, slaps, kicks, and sometimes try to make punishment for with filthy apologies and sometimes not."

The life of the novel's other heroine, Laila, who becomes Rasheed's second wife, takes an even sharper trajectory toward ruin. Though she is the respected daughter of an intellectual, who encourages her to pursue an education, Laila finds her life literally shattered when a rocket strikes by one of the warlord group fighting for control of Kabul, after the Soviet Union's departure, lands on her house and kills her parents.

Her beloved boyfriend, Tariq, has already left Kabul with his family, they have become refugees in Pakistan - and she suddenly finds that she is an orphan with no resources or friends. When she discovers that she is pregnant with Tariq's child and learns that Tariq has supposedly died from injuries sustained in a rocket attack near the Pakistan border, she agrees to marry Rasheed, convinced that she and her baby will never survive alone on the streets of Kabul.

The sense that you are listening to a history lesson seems boring, but experiencing history in fiction becomes interesting as the narrative moves on. Hosseini is almost too careful to describe from ignorant westerners political background to these women's lives, from the Soviet occupation that ruled Laila's childhood to the growing strength of the mujahideen that her brothers join. But Hosseini doesn't get bogged down in the ins and outs of Afghan politics. His energetic narrative speeds on through the political and domestic worlds, as we move through the tragedies that fall on Laila's family. Eventually we see her, orphaned and alone, allowing herself to become Rasheed's second wife. You might think this novel is becoming too melodramatic, as one horror follows another, with rockets blowing families apart, alongside the beatings and threats that make up the women's daily experiences, but this is what a fate of women was in Afghanistan, during the war.

Hosseini's novel begins to settle down the tragic events, when the friendship of the two wives grows slowly in the face of the horrific abuse from their shared husband. Laila looks at Mariam, and "For the first time, it was not an adversary's face Laila saw but a face of grievances unspoken, burdens gone unprotested, and a destiny submitted to and endured. If she stayed, would this be her own face, Laila wondered?" The women's only hope of affection or solidarity is with one another, and they survive not just physically but also emotionally by putting their faith in each other and in their love for Laila's children.

Hosseini does not challenge the usual western view of Afghanistan, but he does enrich it - he adds greater knowledge and understanding to it, and makes the Afghans come alive as loving, feeling individuals. There is something amazingly hopeful in this process, and if there is a problem with the novel, it is not with the plot or the intentions behind it, but with the efficiency of its narrative style. Hosseini's style is direct, and he tends to explain away not only the political but also the personal, presenting each experience in a package in which the emotion is carefully marked. Whether it is love "She had fallen for Tariq. Hopelessly and desperately", or hate "What harmful thing had she willfully done to this man to warrant his malice?" Each distinct emotion is spelled out a touch too clearly.

His desire to believe in the ultimate recovery of Afghanistan is shown from the ending that lands on the sentimental plot. Undoubtedly the removal of the Taliban was positive for Afghan women, and we shouldn't be surprised if his characters draw strength from it. But in the last chapter, as the rains return, the cinemas open, the children play and the orphanages are rebuilt; the reader cannot help and feel the Hosseini's desire for a beautiful return to life for the oppressed people of Afghanistan, which in my opinion has made the ending of his novel just a little weak and filmy.

CONCLUSION:

Whoever is going to read this review I have written will get a clear idea of what this novel is about and the moving emotions of the novel 'A thousand splendid suns'. I think I have satisfied my audience by mentioning every single thing possible in a review, but because of the limitations of words and time it was difficult to mention everything. One thing I'm sure about is that my review reader will definitely want to go through the novel, as I tried to discuss emotional plots interestingly.