Monday, March 16, 2009

Khaled Hosseini

One really good writer who I have come across recently is Khaled Hosseini with two bestsellers The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns to his credit.

Both books can be called bildungsromans or novels of formation and development. The Kite Runner is a growing up novel that narrates how Amir atones for the betrayal of his childhood friend Hassan by adopting Hassan's son Sohrab. The first chapter is unforgettable while A Thousand Splendid Suns is about the relationship between two women in a war-torn Afghanistan. The struggle to survive makes them the wives of the same man, but the bond that develops between the two resembles a mother-daughter relationship. The final section of the novel is remarkable especially about the guessing games that Laila, Tariq, Aziza and Zalmai play for Laila's expected baby. THe naming game involves only male names. If it's a girl Laila has named her already.

Both the books are well-written and unforgettable with characters and the emotional intensity of their stay alive in the mind. His advice to the aspiring writers is :"I would give them the oldest advice in the craft: Read and write. Read a lot. Read new authors and established ones, read people whose work is in the same vein as yours and those whose genre is totally different. You've heard of chain-smokers. Writers, especially beginners, need to be chain-readers. And lastly, write every day. Write about things that get under your skin and keep you up at night". 

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