A Thousand Splendid Suns


A Thousand Splendid Suns is an ambitious work. Once again the setting is Afghanistan, but this time [Hosseini] has taken the last 33 years of that country’s tumultuous history of war and oppression and told it on an intimate scale, through the lives of two women.”
The New York Times

“Spectacular. . . . Hosseini’s writing makes our hearts ache, our stomachs clench and our emotions reel. . . . Hosseini mixes the experiences of these women with imagined scenarios to create a fascinating microcosm of Afghan family life. He shows us the interior lives of the anonymous women living beneath identity-diminishing burqas. . . . Hosseini writes in gorgeous and stirring language of the natural beauty and colorful cultural heritage of his native Afghanistan. . . . Hosseini tells this saddest of stories in achingly beautiful prose through stunningly heroic characters whose spirits somehow grasp the dimmest rays of hope.”
USA Today

“Just as good, if not better, than Hosseini’s best-selling first book, The Kite Runner.”

New York Magazine

“Hosseini revisits Afghanistan for a compelling story that gives voice to the agonies and hopes of another group of innocents caught up in a war. . . . Mesmerizing. . .A Thousand Splendid Suns is the painful, and at times violent, yet ultimately hopeful story of two women’s inner lives. Hosseini’s bewitching narrative captures the intimate details of life in a world where it’s a struggle to survive, skillfully inserting this human story into the larger backdrop of recent history.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Hosseini. . . has followed his debut novel with another work of strong storytelling and engaging characters. . . . The story pulses with life. . . . Khaled Hosseini is simply a marvelously moving storyteller.”
San Jose Mercury News

“Hosseini’s story. . . rings true as a universal story about victims of cruelty and those who lack the most fundamental of human rights. . . . Hosseini’s work is uplifting, enlightening, universal. The author’s love for his characters and for his country is palpable. In the end, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a love letter to a country and to a people. It is a celebration of endurance and survival in the face of unspeakable tragedy. This is a love song to anyone who has ever had a broken heart and to anyone who has ever felt powerless and yet still dares to dream. And yes, Hosseini has done it again.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“The novel is beautifully written with descriptive details that will haunt you long after you finish reading it.”
Dallas Morning News

“This [novel] tells the startling story of domestic adversaries who discover that survival in a horrific world is nearly impossible without compassion, love and solidarity . . . Hosseini’s prose . . . can stun a reader with its powerful, haunting images.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Absolutely compelling on every level. It’s nearly impossible for a novel—a work of fantasy and fabrication—to deliver a formidable blow, a pounding of the senses, a reeling so staggering that we are convinced the characters and their dilemmas are genuine. Such a persuasion is particularly difficult when the setting is Afghanistan, a country and culture many see as too strange for recognition, for empathy. But that’s what Khaled Hosseini does again and again with A Thousand Splendid Suns.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Hosseini has the storytelling gift. . . [A Thousand Splendid Suns] offers us the sweep of historic upheavals narrated with the intimacy of family and village life. . . . What keeps this novel vivid and compelling are Hosseini’s eye for the textures of daily life and his ability to portray a full range of human emotions, from the smoldering rage of an abused wife to the early flutters of maternal love when a woman discovers she is carrying a baby. . . . Hosseini’s illuminating book [is] a worthy sequel to The Kite Runner.”
Los Angeles Times

“Many of us learned much from The Kite Runner. There is much more to be learned from A Thousand Splendid Suns. . . a brave, honorable, big-hearted book”
The Washington Post Book World

“The author’s fans won’t be disappointed with A Thousand Splendid Suns—if anything, this book shows at even better advantage Hosseini’s storytelling gifts.”
New York Daily News

“Hosseini has created two enormously winning female characters in Mariam and Laila, Afghan women born into very different circumstances but who have the same problems.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“[Hosseini] is a writer of unique sensitivities. . . . Hosseini embraces an old-fashioned storytelling unconcerned with literary hipness, unafraid of sentimentality, unworried about the sort of Dickensian coincidences that most contemporary American writers consider off-limits. . . . We are lucky. . . to have a writer of Hosseini’s storytelling ambitions interpreting his culture and history for us with another large-hearted novel. . . . Despite the unjust cruelties of our world, the heroines of A Thousand Splendid Suns do endure, both on the page and in our imagination.”
Miami Herald

“In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini does something highly unusual: He surpasses the power and dept of his first novel, The Kite Runner, which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for almost two full years. . . . Hosseini captures the reader. . . the story is overwhelmingly powerful. Anyone who read this compelling novel will not look at the headlines the same again.”
Charlotte Observer

“Khaled Hosseini is a remarkable storyteller. . . . A Thousand Splendid Suns is an important, provocative work. The rich and violent history of Afghanistan provides a backdrop that informs and saturates the story. Hosseini’s characters, Mariam and Laila, are unforgettable; their compassion for each other and love for their children is devastating. Hosseini has succeeded in writing another epic tale, a novel not to be missed.”
Rocky Mountain News

“Inspiring and heart-wrenching, the story delves into love, sacrifice and survival.”
Family Circle

“[Love] is the emotion—subterranean, powerful, beautiful, illicit, and infinitely patient—that suffuses the pages of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. . . . Hosseini movingly examines the connections between unlikely friends, the fissures that open up between parents and children, the intransigence of quiet hearts. In this new novel, he looks at lives fragmented by conflict, domestic and political, and at human bonds that refuse to break, through the eyes of two deeply passionate women. . . . The story, epic in scope and spanning three decades, follows these two indomitable women whose fortunes mirror those of their beloved and battered country. . . and who find in each other the strength they need to survive.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“[An] insightful portrait of two women whose dreams are shackled by violence, patriarchy and political strife. . . Hosseini sets his story against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s 30-year ordeal—the Soviet invasion, the emergence of the Taliban—but it’s the soul-stirring connection between two victimized women that gives this novel its battered heart.”

“A stirring read . . . almost impossible to resist.”
Entertainment Weekly

“A taut story of two women who come together by chance and discover a filial bond in the absence of any other. . . . An insightful chronicle of the lives of ordinary women in Afghanistan. the portrayal of these lives, with their brutality and everyday cruelty, touches the reader to the core. . . . Without getting preachy, Hosseini’s novel sends a message to Islamic societies to look within and face up to their denial of rights and opportunities for women that are taken for granted in other parts of the world. Paradoxically, by refusing to glorify his native country’s less edifying aspects, Hosseini has in fact done it a distinct service.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Khaled Hosseini has done it again. . . . Hosseini’s prose vibrates with the sensations of these women: their affections, their truncated options, the blows they receive, the children they bear—or can’t. . . .This is Hosseini’s magic: his books are heartwarming. Like The Kite RunnerA Thousand Splendid Suns is infused with a counterintuitive lightness. It is a fast and engaging read. The simple directness of Hosseini’s prose is the magic want that unknots the legendary complexity of the land he describes. . . . A Thousand Splendid Suns is a triumph. In Khaled Hosseini, Afghanistan has at last found a voice.”
Financial Times

“Hosseini masterfully charts. . . frustration and despair, unveiling clenching emotions that stop you dead in your tracts and rip your heart out—a bullet from the pen of one of the most affecting of 21st-century authors. . . . [Hosseini] imbues previously faceless individuals with an actual identity, with dreams and hopes similar to those of the reader. In this way, the writer changes the world.”
San Diego Union-Tribune

A Thousand Splendid Suns is exquisitely well-written and deeply affecting, as good as The Kite Runner, which is high praise indeed.”
Provo Daily Herald

“Hosseini has done it again, a terrifyingly splendid and finally hopeful tale set entirely in his native Afghanistan. . . . I’d need pages to do justice to this richly detailed, sumptuously imagined novel written in Hosseini’s clear-headed, often lyrical prose.”
Providence Journal

“Hosseini writes beautifully from a female perspective. His empathy for these two women, thrown together in awful circumstances, is palpable. . . . The love that grows between them, reflected through the two children they raise, is deeply affecting. . . . I hope that this book is read in high school classes as well; every young woman should read it, if only to understand how important it is for them to vote and voice their opinion because there are many women in this world who cannot. Khaled Hosseini shows with his sophomore book that he is an important voice in fiction. I give A Thousand Splendid Suns five stars. It is heartbreaking.”
Auburn Citizen

“A brisk, heartbreaking follow-up to. . . The Kite Runner. Hosseini has created two enormously winning female characters in Mariam and Laila, Afghan women born into very different circumstances but who suffer the same problems. There is a miniature history lesson embedded in A Thousand Splendid Suns, as there was inThe Kite Runner, but Hosseini never belabors it. Nor does the book ever feel like a conveniently framed window into a serious human-rights issue. Hosseini. . . marshals details well, which helps render his characters’ plight—so foreign to us—in human terms. A Thousand Splendid Suns. . . devastates in a new way. It forces us to imagine what we would do had we been born to such grim fates.”
Hartford Courant

“Gut-wrenching. . . ambitious. . . at the center of the novel, a heart continues to beat, and underneath it is a growing sense of empowerment. What is impressive is the resiliency of a people who refuse to bow down to men who claim God is on their side, and their side only.”
San Antonio Express News

“Khaled Hosseini is arguably one of the best storytellers in English since the British writer Joseph Conrad. Hosseini’s literary abilities are such that he is able to do what all great artists do: take individual stories and, through the alchemy of insight, compassion and expression, universalize them—thereby turning them into art. What Conrad did for Africa, Hosseini now does for Afghanistan. [He] has the capacious heart and soul of an optimist, but the eye of a realist. He is not ashamed to know and show compassion.”
Buffalo News

“[A] searing epic . . . [Hosseini’s] tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afganistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient character.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Another artistic triumph, and surefire bestseller, for this fearless writer.”
Kirkus (starred)

“Unimaginably tragic, Hosseini’s magnificent second novel is a sad and beautiful testament to both Afghani suffering and strength. Readers who lost themselves inThe Kite Runner will not want to miss this unforgettable follow-up.”
Booklist (starred)

“[An] affecting new novel from the author of The Kite Runner, who proves that onecan write a successful follow-up after debuting with a phenomenal best seller. . . . Hosseini deftly sketches the history of his native land in the late 20th century while also delivering a sensitive and utterly persuasive dual portrait. His writing is simple and unadorned, but his story is heartbreaking.”
Library Journal (starred)