Khaled Hosseini was born in the year 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hosseini’s father was a diplomat in Afghan Foreign ministry, and due to the nature of service they had to travel a lot. In the year 1980, when the Hosseini’s father was deputed in Paris, the Soviet Army occupied Afghanistan. So, instead of returning from Paris to Afghanistan, the United States granted a political asylum to the Hosseini family. Thus settled in San Jose, California, the family struggled to adjust and fit into the new culture. Khaled earned his medical degree in the year 1993. Practicing as a physician, Khaled Hosseini was passionate towards writing. In his first novel, The Kite Runner (2003), we find a vivid depiction of his memories of Afghanistan prior to the Soviet’s invasion. A similar essence is also portrayed in his second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, published in the year 2007. This book was written after his visit to Afghanistan to have a first-hand experience and examination of the nation’s current situation.
The title of the book A Thousand Splendid Suns is a quote from a poem by the 17th Century Persian poet Saib-e-Tabrizi. This phrase has been used twice in the novel, once when Laila’s family was preparing to leave Kabul with her family, and again where we find when she finally decided to go to Pakistan from Kabul. The title is being echoed towards the end where we see Mariam has occupied a place in Laila’s heart, where she stands outs with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.
AThousand Splendid Suns revolves around the two central characters, Mariam and Laila. The novel mainly has four major parts. In the first part, the focus of the narrative is mainly on Mariam. In the second portion, the storyline revolves around Laila. The third part mainly highlights the relation between Mariam and Laila, whereas in the fourth part we see more of Laila. The story begins with Mariam, who is the illegitimate child of