A Thousand Splendid Suns
By Khaled Hosseini
(Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781594483851, 420pp.)
Publication Date: November 25, 2008
List Price: $16.00*
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Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made "The Kite Runner" a beloved classic, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.
A stunning accomplishment, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.
- The phrase "a thousand splendid suns," from the poem by Saib-e-Tabrizi, is quoted twice in the novel – once as Laila's family prepares to leave Kabul, and again when she decides to return there from Pakistan. It is also echoed in one of the final lines: "Miriam is in Laila's own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns." Discuss the thematic significance of this phrase.