12 March 2013

Today's Imprint Read: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

What if you were a fifteen-year-old Afghanistan girl, living in a hut on the outskirts of town, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man who had three wives? Now let's say your mother dies and your father and his family don't want you and the shame you represent, so they marry you off to a stranger, a man thirty years your senior who lives hundreds of kilometers away. Here is Mariam on the third day in her new home as she realizes she is no longer free:

Mariam had never before worn a burqa. Rasheed [her husband] had to help her put it on. The padded headpiece felt tight and heavy on her skull, and it was strange seeing the world through a mesh screen. She practiced walking around her room in it and kept stepping on the hem and stumbling. The loss of peripheral vision was unnerving, and she did not like the suffocating way the pleated cloth kept pressing against her mouth.

"You'll get used to it," Rasheed said. "With time, I bet you'll even like it."
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Penguin USA / Riverhead, 2007, p. 72)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: mostly Kabul, from the early 1970s to the early 2000s
  • Circumstances: Mariam's home life with Rasheed; her relationship with Laila, Rasheed's second wife; life for women in Kabul during wartime and under the Taliban
  • Characters: Mariam, Rasheed (her husband), Laila (Rasheed's second wife), Laila's children, Tariq (Laila's childhood love)
  • Genre: literary fiction; beautifully descriptive of Kabul and the women's sphere
  • Themes: changing conditions in Kabul, marriage, motherhood, miscarriage; spousal abuse, women's rights, war, friendship, sacrifice, self-worth
  • Miscellaneous: winner of starred reviews and an Indie Next pick
Giveaway Alert

Come back on Thursday to enter a giveaway for a Hosseini novel.

What to Know More?

Learn about Khaled Hosseini by visiting his website where you can find videos, discussion questions, and information about his foundation to help the Afghanistan people. He's granted many interviews about A Thousand Splendid Suns, including with NPR and with BookBrowse. In the following video, Hosseini talks about the novel and his childhood in Afghanistan.

Riverhead Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, visit the Riverhead website. While there, explore their terrific book list, check out authors in the news, and view some fun videos. Stay in the know by following them on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

Buy A Thousand Splendid Suns at an indie or at a bookstore near you. (Link leads to an affiliate program.)
Published by Penguin USA / Riverhead, 2007
ISBN-13: 9781594483851

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Sandy Nawrot 3/12/13, 6:16 AM  

This was such a good book! Although with his books, I always feel that he is working hard to get me to cry. But I'd still read whatever he wrote.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/12/13, 6:37 AM  

I loved this one as well as the Kite Runner. Looking forward to the new one very much.

Yvonne 3/12/13, 6:39 AM  

I never read this one but it looks like a great read!

caite 3/12/13, 6:40 AM  

Am I the only person who never read this one?
So many books...so little time.

Gayle Weiswasser 3/12/13, 8:11 AM  

Such a sad book. But it really stays with you.

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/12/13, 8:11 AM  

Wow, great teaser! Thanks for sharing...and here's MY TUESDAY MEMES

rhapsodyinbooks 3/12/13, 8:33 AM  

I know this one is good but also depressing so I have been avoiding it!

Heather 3/12/13, 9:39 AM  

i haven't read this one either. In fact, I didn't even know what it was about as I'd not read a review. Sounds like my type of read. Thanks.

Unknown 3/12/13, 9:44 AM  

This book is one of my very favorites, and I cried so hard as I was listening to it. I started it on a 17 hour drive home from TX alone, and it kept me very good company, but I did have to pull over and cry a few times, not kidding. So emotional.
Love the tease!!

bermudaonion 3/12/13, 10:33 AM  

I've got to make the time to read this book. I'm sure I'd love it!

Beth Hoffman 3/12/13, 10:42 AM  

One of these days I'll pull this book from the shelf. I think I've been somewhat avoiding it because I know it's going to be very sad.

grammajudyb 3/12/13, 10:53 AM  

This has been on my TBR list since I read The Kite Runner. I'm like Beth H., I have been avoiding it because I know it will be sad.

Zibilee 3/12/13, 11:06 AM  

I read The Kite Runner a very long time ago, and have had this book on my shelves for too long. I need to make time for it. It sounds like the same kind of intense roller coaster that I felt for the first book. This was an excellent quote.

JoAnn 3/12/13, 1:35 PM  

I loved this book, and The Kite Runner, too. Looking forward to his latest!

Heather 3/12/13, 1:45 PM  

Both this and The Kite Runner are in Mount TBR--really must get to them one of these days! My teaser: The Window at the White Cat

Barbara 3/12/13, 2:21 PM  

I loved both of his novels about Afghanistan. They gave me an insight to the lives of the people there and how they live. When he has a new one out, I'll be sure to read it.

Nise' 3/12/13, 2:25 PM  

His books are ones that when you finally read them, you wonder what in the world took you so long!

Daryl 3/12/13, 2:34 PM  

adding it to the list.. thank you!

Harvee 3/12/13, 2:57 PM  

Your teaser makes me want to read this!!

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine 3/12/13, 3:04 PM  

This book was great but I think it broke my heart more than any other book I've read. So tragic.

Melissa O. 3/12/13, 4:40 PM  

Wow, that sounds like an interesting read, but intense... Here's my TT post!

Sandra Nachlinger 3/12/13, 10:19 PM  

I've heard so many wonderful things about this book. I've GOT to read it! Fantastic teaser.
My teaser is from THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY.

Melissa (Avid Reader) 3/13/13, 11:22 AM  

I read The Kite Runner and have been meanign to get to this one for a long time. I must bump it up my list.

Jennifer 3/16/13, 6:09 PM  

The Kite Runner was the first book I read in college and I loved it. In perfect symmetry, Khaled Hosseini was the speaker at my graduation. He is ana amazing man and I do want to read more of his work.

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