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Eclectic Book Club: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny -- "There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten" -- is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.

Book Club Info
Title: 
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: 
Khaled Hosseini
Jacket image: 
http://content.sirsi.com/uhtbin/getenrich/9781594489501/COVER_GIF
Event Info
Date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Contact name: 
Age: