creative [kree-ey-tiv]: adjective. Synonyms: clever, cool, innovative, inspired, prolific, stimulating.

criticism [krit-uh-siz-uhm]: noun. The act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.

5 Jun 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

The author of the massively successful novel The Kite Runner has done it again: he has weaved a heartbreaking tale of life and sorrow and hope set in Afghanistan, Kabul mostly. This novel, too, spans decades, from the monarchy to 2003, through the Soviet invasion and the civil war (I don't care if they called it a jihad: you had various factions of the populace fighting each other. It's a civil war.), through the rise of the Taliban and the reconstruction of a country ravaged by decades of bombs and guns and death. This time, though, the story is told from two women's perspective; first from Mariam's, then from Laila's, and then from their shared experience.
Honestly, this book makes a powerful case in favor of the UN's involvement in Afghanistan. Especially when it comes to the human rights of, look at that, half the population: this novel isn't shy to point out that as soon as Afghanistan wasn't part of the USSR anymore, the rights of women were dramatically shrunk. And that abusive husbands in particular (yes, there is such a recurring character in the novel, and I guarantee that you will hate him before the end of the first part) had the leeway to do pretty much anything they wanted to their wives, no matter if they wanted to beat them, starve them, rape them, and generally abuse them.
So yes, reading this book was an emotionally turbulent experience; I wanted to cry, I wanted to rage, I wanted to scream, I wanted to read as fast as I could so that I'd know what came next, I wanted to laugh, I felt a considerable outpouring of hope, I wanted to help, I wanted to reassure the characters that everything would be all right...
It was great. Read it.

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