Monday, September 8, 2008

Did you love The Kite Runner?

Well then... here's your opportunity to read his second book "A Thousand Splendid Suns" that has a focus more targeted to women in Afghanistan (at least that is how I understand it).

Here's a summary of the book:
Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation.

Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed. This tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.

Come and join the discussion in the Lower Haight district at Cafe du Soleil on Sunday September 28 at 2pm

Inspired by a courageous young woman

We had a wonderful meeting discussing the life of Ma Yan and exchanging our experiences when we were her age. We read a mature woman who was consistently optimistic about her future and her values were incredibly solid.

We all learned more personally how life can be for a girl in rural China and we wonder whether we would have the same courage as Ma Yan to be determined to be educated. We were happy to hear that we could find what happened afterwards with Ma Yan.

Ma Yan's journal gives us insight to her family, friends and education. The book did a great job in providing a background context in several sections to get a better sense of her situation when she was writing her journal.

There's something to be said for having a positive attitude - it can make the impossible possible and we see it in Ma Yan's life!