I shant ever think of a hajib like I once used to.
I shant ever look at a muslim woman the same way again.
I shant ever see any of it with my old eyes.
My eyes have been reborn, the horizon of my sight widened.
Under A Thousand Splendid Suns there are people. They seem so far-away to us, more primitive, more agressive, and less equal to us in both manner and way of thinking. We dislike the hijab, we look down on the people. I’m not saying that we all do. Oh no, but there are many of us who do and they all hide it well. I never was one them, but I never did understand why the young girls who are born here in Norway would cover their hair with a hijab either. Certainly they must want to show their beautiful hair too, no? But now I do. Now I understand. Now I do. And all the suffering. All the pain. All that I never understood before. Now I see.
I’ve seen the thick, yellow book “A Thousand Splendid Suns” for weeks now. At every book store I go to, I see the book being shown off, screened, shelved, put anywere they are sure to be seen. I’m not interested in those kind of books, I’m a fantasy person you know. I would never have bought it on my own accord, wouldn’t even have picked it up at the library to borrow. And so I was groaning when my Literary English teacher announced one foggy afternoon that we were going to read either A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Kite Runner. I picked A Thousand Splendid Suns because it had such a pretty cover, with dented golden leaves eating away at the edges. A story of two Afghan women struggling in life, through ill-befitted fate and injustice. (Or girls, depending on where in the story you are.) Sounded completely uninteresting to me. No sparks of magic whatsoever. I thought I was going to bore myself like I do with some Norwegian books. Little did I know then how that book would capture me, how it would keep me within its grasp and drag me further down, deep within its gripping well.
The story is surprisingly well written.
I did not expect the storytelling to be so engaging, it had me there from the first page. At first it was only the brilliant writing that kept me reading. How he wrote about the kolba Mariam jo (jo means dear) lived in, the happy days of childhood, the awkard relationships between her beloved people, the vivid scenes of her life, her fluttery thoughts and childish behaviour. All of it seemed so alive, it was all becoming real to me. The writing made it so.
Then the story plummets deeper, exploring and discovering new worlds, worlds where not only the writing kept me turning the pages, but also the content. Oh it made me squeel so many times, it left my stomach with lumps, had me pity the characters, made my anger flare, had me giggling of joy. Had me wishing things wouldn’t have happened. To quote his editor: “heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment”
I am so attached to the characters. I still haven’t finished the book yet, still got 50 pages or so left.
I’m going to go finish the story now.
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls
A book is a powerful tool.
Reading: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Afghan novel) – the writer himself lives and is educated in America, though