Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Novel A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS Sheds Light on Fighting in Afghanistan Now

If since September 11, 2001, you've been following the various fighting factions in Afghanistan without a clear understanding of who is who -- and you're not interested in reading a nonfiction book that explains all the factions, the novel A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini can serve as a "cheat sheet."

Hosseini's ability to explain what's going on as background to the saga of two women over many years sheds light on the abyss that is Afghanistan today.

While Hosseini's previous novel THE KITE RUNNER may be more well-known, it is my opinion that A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS is the more important novel. In fact, I read it while reading the nonfiction book by Gary C. Schroen FIRST IN: AN INSIDER'S ACCOUNT OF HOW THE CIA SPEARHEADED THE WAR ON TERROR IN AFGHANISTAN and the novel served as a briefing on the nonfiction book.

If you have seen the heart-breaking movie OSAMA about a young girl in Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban, you'll especially want to read A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS as a companion piece to that brutal story.

As the U.S. sends more troops to Afghanistan, it behooves us to understand in what kind of country our troops are deployed. Reading the novel will help you comprehend that Afghanistan is a country whose tangled allegiances can be quicksand for unsuspecting personnel.

It is to be fervently hoped that U.S. military decision makers consider the cultural and ethnically divided history of Afghanistan when formulating military policies for that country.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at LA Internet Business Examiner, Operation Support Jews in the Military, and Fiction Marketing, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.


aherosdaughter said...

This is a "splendid" novel written by an author who is a true storyteller. The story is not for the faint of heart but gives you a view into a little known culture. The author's previous, and first published work, The Kite Runner is written from the male prespective while this novel from the female. For myself, A Thousan Spendid Suns provide great insight and delves deeper into the Afghanistan culture. I highly recommend this novel.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Evie --
I so agree with your comment "not for the faint of heart but gives you a view into a little known culture." This is precisely why I think it's so worthwhile to push through the difficult parts (I did take a breather for a couple of days) to better understand this culture where we are sending deployed troops.

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