Seeing much more
Hosseini depicts an Afghanistan no camera or news
report has succeeded to show
July 21, 2004
It has been some time since I've read a book I could
not put down. What is out there these days is either too involved
to keep my
interest, too long, or simply not close to my Middle Eastern heart.
Last year, when the book, The Kite Runner,
by Khaled Hosseini came out, I bought it for my husband. He finished
the three hundred
plus pages in a matter of days and told me he loved it, but wouldn't
recommend it to me.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Well, I know how you are. It's going to make
That did the trick at the time. I was going
through a phase when I could not handle additional - not to mention
self inflicted -
sorrow. I continued to read humor, and watched movies with a
guaranteed good ending and in time felt strong enough to pick up
A slow reader, I finished it in four days. I put
the book down feeling not only richer with new knowledge of a country
knew as a neighbor of Iran, but I was reacquainted with emotions
so familiar, they could have been my own.
Dr. Khaled Hosseini, the Afghan born author, probes
the life of his people with such precision that it becomes the
Through his words I felt the brutality that Afghanistan experienced
under the cruel hands of the Taliban. I also looked at a
simple life through the innocent eyes of an Afghani boy and followed
him to end of the age of innocence.
A gifted writer, Hosseini opens old wounds the way
only those familiar with pain are able to. Through his artistic
and poetic style
he depicts what no camera and no news report has succeeded
to show. From the start, he draws the reader into an emotional
looks familiar and introduces characters who are not unknown
to human heart.
Did I feel that way because of the similarities
between our cultures? Was I drawn to names with Persian origin,
poetry? Did the pure and beautiful language of those
make me feel closer to them? Perhaps. But as a writer,
I saw more, much more.
Kite Runner may
be - as my husband put it - a disturbing tragedy. But if I were
novel to a friend,
this would be the one. Not only is the story engaging,
and a definite page turner, but its literary value
is hard to
No doubt Hollywood is going to get wind of this
and we may soon see the movie posters. But I would strongly
readers to reach for the real story before the movie
what would suit the needs of the box office.
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani is a freelance
poet and artist. She lives in San Diego, California.