Sunday, 14 September 2008
The Kite Runner/A Thousand Splendid Suns
Last month, I found myself reading these two books by the Afghan author Khaled Hosseini, reading A Thousand Splendid Suns first and then The Kite Runner afterwards.
I can honestly say that these were two of the saddest books (emotionally) I have read in a while. Before reading these two novels, I wasn't very aware of the situations in parts of Afghanistan and how bad they were and are now today (especially on the female gender);
though women's/girl's equality is mentioned in The Kite Runner, it is the main topic in A Thousand Splendid Suns, a story based on two women and the abuse they face from their beyond violent husband. (While both books are beyond good, I found A Thousand Splendid Suns to be better in it's consistency, as it caught me more than The Kite Runner did; as for me The Kite Runner ended too soon)
For anyone who has read this book, you will understand what I mean when I say it is definitely an eye opener on how women are still treated today in some parts of Muslim countries such as Afghanistan. For instance: how a woman can't go out in public without a man being present, how a woman is not even considered for any type of education, and how, as it says in A Thousand Splendid Suns: "A woman's face is her husband's business only", meaning that a woman must be completely covered at all times, via. wearing clothing such as a burqa. If a woman was not to do any of the things listed above (as well as others stated in the book), they would be arrested, which could lead to being executed in public or even stoned to death.
Despite the fact that both books are fiction, it is clear that they are based on real life and aren't that far from the truth; and I appreciate Khaled for writing these books and being able to let others know about what is going on in his country; because as bad as this may sound, I was once convinced that the problems going on in places such as Afghanistan weren't that bad; but thankfully, reading these two books told me otherwise. Maybe it's my own fault for not watching the news enough (that being said, we all know how the media likes to exaggerate or under mention some things).
So to anyone who likes a good book that you can't put down, I would definitely suggest these two. Not only do they give you a gripping storyline, but they give you some home truths about some Middle Eastern countries, as well as a little history lesson ;)
Unfortunately, Khaled Hosseini has only published these two books :(, but I have a feeling he's working on another one, something that is better than The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns combined...