After reading Khaled Hosseini‘s first two published novels, it’s safe to say he’s my favorite author at the moment. He’s an incredibly skilled story-teller, detailing in a way that is both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Though the life of an Afghan woman, man or child is not one I could relate to in probably any way at all, Hosseini’s writing makes me feel as if I could. The characters are human and that’s what makes them relatable. Not their story, lives or culture, but that raw emotion that Hosseini has an incredible sense for makes them come to life.
These novels also give someone who is not familiar with Afghan culture, history, etc a first hand insight on the everyday Afghan’s life, struggles, customs, so on and so forth. I can’t say I know what that life looks like outside of what’s in the news or some hearsay. Both novels travel through someones life, also depicting the political and historical atmosphere of Afghanistan over several decades. From what I’ve read, “The Kite Runner” received some negative responses on its portrayal of the Taliban and the relationship between different cultures within the country.
…the depiction of Pashtuns as oppressors and Hazaras as the oppressed. Hosseini responded in an interview, ‘They never say I am speaking about things that are untrue. Their beef is, ‘Why do you have to talk about these things and embarrass us? Don’t you love your country?’
In “A Thousand Splendid Suns” – his second novel, Hosseini depicts the lives of two Afghan women and how their lives build separately and together. Though both novels are wonderful, Hosseini outdid himself with this one.
“The Kite Runner,” his first novel, I just completed a few days ago. It took me while to get into it, but once I reached the half way mark, I flew right through the rest. That’s not the book’s fault, that’s usually how I read. Anyway, this novel is about a “Pashtun” boy who is comes from a fairly well-to-do family and his relationship with his “Hazara” servant who is the same age. The story progresses through the narrators life with many personal struggles as well as the struggles of life through the decades in Afghanistan.
Hosseini’s latest book, “And the Mountain Echoed” was released in May 2013. I haven’t read anything about it yet, so I haven’t a clue what it’s about, though of course I’ll read it anyway. It is completely possible that it could be better than his previous works.