Thursday, August 23, 2007

[Book Review] A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini


Akiba Shabazz reviews A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead Books, 2007)

Three decades of middle-eastern history are rolled out in gripping, flowing word work: "...watching the bulbul bird darting from tree to tree, stories of the two-headed snake, the watermelon seeds...spelling out 'Allah'." In places raw sewage flows in the river. Beheaded bodies lie about in public.

It is not often a pretty picture, yet is an extraordinary presentation of life in the palm of our hands. Everyday actions as simple as plucking fruit, folding paper toys, going fishing or giving birth are played out against a backdrop of bombs bursting and punitive amputations. The author fleshes out the culture and pumps it with blood so that the reader shares the daily lives of Afghan women, men and children as they deal with war, warlords, and conquerors from both in country and from here overseas.

Ever wonder what is must be like to be one of several wives in a plural marriage? What does the husband feel? Get some answers; read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Akiba Shabazz, Cornelia Crenshaw Branch Library

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