Critical Bibliography

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Foley, Dylan. “Two Afghan Wives Salvage Joy Amid Strife.” Denver Post, July 15, 2007. In this interview, Hosseini discusses sources of the novel, which resulted from his 2003 visit to Afghanistan and a widely distributed local video of one woman’s public execution.

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Hosseini, Khaled. “Kabul’s Splendid Son: Interview with Khaled Hosseini.” Mother Jones 34, no. 3 (2009): 74-75. This magazine article includes a brief biographical sketch of Hosseini. In the interview, Hosseini deplores the impoverished condition of Afghans living in a war-torn country.

Kakutani, Michiko. “A Woman’s Lot in Kabul, Lower than a House Cat’s.” The New York Times, May 29, 2007. An initially harsh review (“soap-opera-ish events”) of A Thousand Splendid Suns that grows more forgiving as the novel unfolds into scenes of daily Afghan life and “genuinely heart-wrenching” moments.

Null, Linda, and Suellen Alfred. “A Thousand Splintered Hopes.” English Journal 97, no. 6 (July, 2008): 123-125. Exploring the irony of Hosseini’s title in such a dark novel, the authors compare Jalil, Rasheed, and Hakim and note parallels with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850).

Reed, Cheryl L. “Afghanistan’s True Darkness.” Chicago Sun-Times, June 10, 2007. Compares Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner, which views Afghanistan “from a distance,” with the intimacy of A Thousand Splendid Suns. Praises the emotional power of this novel, which allows readers to experience, for example, the difference “between imagining the depravity of war and actually smelling the orphans left in its wake.”

Scharper, Diane. “Two Afghan Women Fight to Endure Decades of Oppression.” Denver Post, May 20, 2007. Compares Mariam to a Charles Dickens heroine—poor but plucky—but argues that Hosseini is hesitant to get close to his female characters, thereby allowing them to seem flat.

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Women as Protagonists in A Thousand Splendid Suns