Thursday, January 19, 2023

Afghan literature beyond A Thousand Splendid Suns

Seattle Opera’s upcoming world premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Afghan American author Khaled Hosseini. But A Thousand Splendid Suns only scratches the surface of the breadth of literature written by Afghan and Afghan American authors. Deepen your appreciation of Afghanistan’s rich tradition of art and literature with this selection of recent works.

Works by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner (2004)

“The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.” –khaledhosseini.com



 

 

 

 

 

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns (2008)

“Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.” –khaledhosseini.com








And the Mountains Echoed (2014)

“[A] new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.” –khaledhosseini.com








Sea Prayer (2018)

“A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.” –khaledhosseini.com













Other works by Afghan authors

My Pen is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women (2022)

“Eighteen Afghan women living in, speaking about, and writing from the country itself tell stories that are powerful and illuminating, unique and universal – stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity, and cultural traditions.“ –grandcentralpublishing.com














We Are Still Here: Afghan Women on Courage, Freedom, and the Fight to Be Heard (2022)

“In We Are Still Here, artist and activist Nahid Shahalimi compiles the voices of thirteen powerful, insightful, and influential Afghan women who have worked as politicians, journalists, scientists, filmmakers, artists, coders, musicians, and more. As they reflect on their country’s past, stories of their own upbringing and the ways they have been able to empower girls and women over the past two decades emerge. They report on the fear and pain caused by the impending loss of their homeland, but above all on what many girls and women in Afghanistan have already lost: freedom, self-determination, and joy.” –penguinrandomhouse.com









Under a Kabul Sky: Short Fiction by Afghan Women (2019)

“These twelve short stories dive deep into imaginary worlds where everyday life is marked and marred by war. They speak of wounded love, captured women, confinement, talismans, borders, wolves. They give expression to the voices of Afghan women who would like to change the fate of people like N√Ęzboo, Khorshid, Hamid and so many others.” –inanna.ca













Games Without Rules (2014)

“Five times in the last two centuries, some great power has tried to invade, occupy, or otherwise take control of Afghanistan. And as Tamim Ansary shows in this illuminating history, every intervention has come to grief in much the same way and for much the same reason: The intervening power has failed to understand that Afghanistan has a story of its own, a story that continues to unfold between, and despite, the interventions. Games without Rules tells this story from the inside looking out. Drawing on his Afghan background, Muslim roots, and Western and Afghan sources, Ansary weaves an epic that moves from a universe of village republics–the old Afghanistan–through a tumultuous drama of tribes, factions, and forces, to the current struggle.” –publicaffairsbooks.com







A Thousand Splendid Suns opens February 25, 2023, at McCaw Hall. Tickets and info at seattleopera.org/suns.

 

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