Tuesday, May 01, 2007

June 2007 Featured Book Club Pick: A Thousand Splendid Suns

The success of a best-selling book can be a double-edged sword. Khaled Hosseini’s first book, “The Kite Runner,” became an international bestseller by spending 103 weeks perched at the top of the best-seller’s list. It also set the bar very high. Readers anticipating the author’s next book wondered if he could capture lightning in a bottle. Hosseini’s latest book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” actually manages to do something few authors can: follow up a best-selling book with another probable one. This searing portrait of love, loss, friendship and survival is Charlotte Weekly’s book club selection for June.

Like his previous book, “Suns” is set in war-torn Afghanistan and focuses on the lives of Mariam and Laila, two women brought together by war and fate. As they endure dangers in the midst of their war-torn city, they form an inextricable bond with one another that helps them get through unimaginable circumstances. Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to self-sacrifice — a decision that ultimately becomes the key to her survival. The story of a country at war is one that is a difficult story to tell. But it is Hosseini’s masterful ability to weave words as poetry that exalts their struggle and ultimately makes this literary classic a book that is difficult to put down.

Hosseini’s own life story is fodder for his literary prowess. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965 to a father who was a diplomat with the Afghan Foreign Ministry and a mother who taught Farsi and history at a high school. After a short relocation to Paris, his family returned to Kabul in 1980 shortly after the invasion of the Soviet army. The Hosseini’s sought and were granted political asylum in the United States and moved to San Jose, Calif. Hosseini became a doctor but used his background in Afghanistan as the backdrop of his first novel, “The Kite Runner” in March 2001. Last year in recognition of his ability to capture the essence of refugees’ plight, a United Nations Refugee Agency named him a goodwill envoy.

Join Charlotte Weekly Monday, June 25, at 7 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at SouthPark to discuss this story you won’t soon forget. R.S.V.P. at www.thecharlotteweekly.com.

No comments: