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25+ Most Powerful 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' Quotes From Khaled Hosseini

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A Thousand Splendid Suns' quotes are powerful and motivating

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'A Thousand Splendid Suns' is a fictional novel that was released in the year 2007, following Hosseini’s debut novel 'The Kite Runner'.

Set in turbulent times in Afghanistan, dealing with the Soviet invasion and the Taliban, the book does a dauntingly beautiful job of putting the violence, fear, hope, and faith of the characters into intimate, human terms. The book is loved by many, and studied by some high school students, as the book is suitable for older teens and adults.

The 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' themes and quotes, highlighting issues like religion, politics, and gender roles in society, make it an ideal fit for every growing teenager to learn from. The book is a story about characters of two different generations brought together as history plays itself out around them. The tragic sweep of war has disrupted their lives, and they are struggling to survive while raising a family and looking for happiness. Chronicling three decades of Afghan history and a moving account of friendships and relationships during troubling times, this is an unconventional love story that, whilst not based on a true story, provides a realistic portrayal of its setting.

Khaled Hosseini had quite a nomadic life as a child. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965, Hosseini and his family moved to Iran in 1970 where his father worked in the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran.  In 1973, they moved back to Kabul where his youngest brother was born in July that year. At 11, in 1976, Khaled’s family moved to Paris, France after his father obtained a job there. The Saur Revolution in Afghanistan made it impossible for them to move back in 1978, following which, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, the family applied for political asylum in America. There they settled down in San Jose, California.

In 1984, Hosseini graduated from Independence High School, San Jose. He then went to Santa Clara University in 1988 where he graduated in biology. Following this, he earned an MD from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1993. He practiced medicine for over ten years including a while after 'The Kite Runner' was released. He currently serves as a Goodwill Envoy for the UNHCR, lives in California with his wife and kids, and doesn’t practice medicine anymore.

Hosseini’s style of storytelling is very old-school. He has a knack for melodramatic plotlines, clearly developed characters, and raw emotions. Unlike 'The Kite Runner', 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' deals with mothers, daughters, and female friendships. But much like it, this novel also has a ghastly villain and a righteous best friend who commits acts of self-sacrifice to help the protagonist.

The book tries to portray the hardships that befell the lives of a lot of individuals. Like every great novel, this one also has its stand-out moments and its perceived weaknesses. His characters have been criticized for having a kind of simplicity usually observed in characters of a fairy tale or a fable. Critics have said that you do not sympathize with the characters, rather the situations they’re in, such as unhappy family lives, forced and abusive marriages, and oppressive governments. Despite this, the book does such a great job of showcasing the lives of Afghan people, these criticisms cannot take away from its huge achievement.

The phrase ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is used in the book's title to signify the beauty and cultural achievements of Afghanistan. Thus it’s symbolic that the same phrase should be used as the title for a book that talks about the destruction and struggles of the country. Hosseini was inspired to write this book during his visit to Afghanistan in 2003 where he found the country in what he perceived as total political and economical upheaval. The resulting book is truly a work of art.

This list of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' quotes includes some of our favorites from the novel. If you like them, make sure to check out our lists of 'The Kite Runner' quotes and 'The Book Thief' quotes too.

'A Thousand Splendid Suns' Quotes About Love

A leading theme of the novel, besides war in Afghanistan, is love. Maneuvering through the hardships and disasters of an arranged marriage, there are many instances of true love in the book. For example, Fariba and Hakim, despite all their quarrels and fights, still speak fondly of their love for each other. It is clear that it is the circumstances of life that creates differences between them, not their lost love. Through them, the author conveys that true love means staying together and making decisions together without violence. Their daughter, Laila, even though faced with abuse in her own arranged marriage, remembers their marriage as a happy ideal. This gives her the strength to fight Rasheed and stand up for herself. She, too, then finds true love with Tariq, her childhood sweetheart. The book is filled with many more such instances of true love. Here are some of the most important quotes from 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' from those moments.

1. “And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

2. “One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

3. “She is the noor of my eyes and the sultan of my heart.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

4. “Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don't have to say anything.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

5. “A man's heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn't like a mother's womb. It won't bleed. It won't stretch to make room for you.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

6. “She was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

7. “Love can move people to act in unexpected ways and move them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

8. “I will follow you to the ends of the world.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

9. “Tariq tucked the gun into the waist of his denims. Then he said a thing both lovely and terrible. 'For you,' he said. 'I'd kill with it for you, Laila.'”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

10. “Tell your secret to the wind, but don’t blame it for telling the trees.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

11. “And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them. She uprooted them and ditched them before they took hold.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

'A Thousand Splendid Suns' Quotes About Sacrifice

Well acquainted with pain and suffering, each character in the book has a heroism about them that stems from perseverance and sacrifice. From the loss of a loved one to loss of self-respect and voice, each character is plagued with their own suffering. In the book, we witness the sacrifice of a mother as she allows her sons to fight in battle, and is never able to overcome her grief. The sacrifice of dreams and ambitions as the girls are told to marry against their will at ages far too young. The sacrifice of their childhoods as they have their own children, while still being children themselves. There is a loss of innocence as they’re expected to look after another man and his house all on their own without complaints. The sacrifice of love for duty and need is a recurring theme throughout the novel. As sacrifice is one of the central themes of the book, it is important to explore the quotes about sacrifice that appear in the book. Thus, this list of book quotes about sacrifice has been provided for you.

12. “Learn this now and learn it well. Like a compass facing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

13. “Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

14. “Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

15. “Mariam saw now the sacrifices a mother made. Decency was but one.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

16. “A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

17. “The Chinese say it's better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

18. “Perhaps this is just punishment for those who have been heartless, to understand only when nothing can be undone.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

19. “Mariam lay on the couch, hands tucked between her knees, watched the whirlpool of snow twisting and spinning outside the window. She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

20. “Laila has moved on. Because in the end she knows that’s all she can do. That and hope.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

21. “Miriam wished for so much in those final moments. Yet as she closed her eyes, it was not regret any longer but a sensation of abundant peace that washed over her. She thought of her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last. No. It was not so bad, Miriam thought, that she should die this way. Not so bad. This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate belongings.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

'A Thousand Splendid Suns' Burqa Quotes And Women’s Rights Quotes

Women’s Rights and a woman's role in society is an important issue in 'A Thousand Splendid Suns

The book talks about the oppression of women in extremist factions such as the Taliban-dominated Kabul that disrupt their lives completely. They were suddenly made to wear burqas even though they never did until now in their lives. Schools were closed, female employees fired from their jobs, and women who disobeyed men risked beatings. The rules laid out by the Taliban for women were strict and oppressive. There are strong supportive male characters throughout the book, like Mullah Faizullah, who believe that women’s rights are just as important as men's. They believe that a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, and that marriage can wait, but education cannot. The burqa in the book represents both freedom and imprisonment. Although the women are ordered to wear the burqua when they choose not to before, thus taking away some of their freedom, they discover that the veil covers and protects them from the judgments of other people. Here we have a list of Khaled Hosseini quotes that highlight this paradox of freedom and imprisonment perfectly.

22. “And the burqa, she learned to her surprise, was also comforting. It was like a one way window. Inside it, she was an observer, buffered from the scrutinizing eyes of strangers. She no longer worried that people knew, with a single glance, all the shameful secrets of her past”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

23. “Still, she found some comfort in the anonymity that the burqa provided. She wouldn’t have to watch the surprise in their eyes, or the pity or glee, at how far she had fallen, at how her lofty aspirations had been dashed.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

24. “A society has no chance at success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

25. “I know you're still young but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You're a very very bright girl. Truly you are. You can be anything you want Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated Laila. No chance.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

26. “This was the first time that she was deciding the course of her own life.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

27. “You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you just have to see and feel.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

28. “But the game involves only male names. Because, if it's a girl, Laila has already named her.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

29. “The padded headpiece felt tight and heavy on her skull, and it was strange seeing the world through a mesh screen. She practiced walking around her room in it and kept stepping on the hem and stumbling.”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

30. “The loss of peripheral vision was unnerving, and she did not like the suffocating way the pleated cloth kept pressing against her mouth”

- Khaled Hosseini, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns', 2007.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' quotes, then why not take a look at [Margaret Atwood quotes] or 'Lord Of The Flies' quotes for more important literary quotes?

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