Khaled Hosseini’s new novel And the Mountains Echoed tells family stories of loss and love from multiple points of view. There is a long waiting list for this book at the library, so here are some ideas for other books you might enjoy reading while you wait.
The obvious first choices are Hosseini’s other popular and well received novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both stories are set in Afghanistan, the author’s native land, and reveal the impact the country’s political turmoil has upon its people, while focusing on more intimate stories of friendship and family.
If you have already read Hosseini’s other titles you might try The Moonlit Cage by Linda Holeman. This novel is also set in Afghanistan and follows the difficult life of Darya in the mid nineteenth century in a small village. This is a heart wrenching, yet ultimately redeeming story of a woman discovering her value.
An author that has much of the same appeal as Hosseini is Jhumpa Lahiri.
Her novels and short story collections focus on families of Indian heritiage, many recent immigrants, and the difficulties and triumphs they encounter. Try her popular novel The Namesake or her collection of short stories The Unaccustomed Earth.
In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar was short listed for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Nine-year-old Suleiman’s father has spoken out against Quaddafi’s Libyan regime. Through the son’s eyes we see the impact this has upon his family, as well as the regime’s affect upon other families.
Other titles of interest might include Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy follows three generations of a family during tumultuous times in Egypt. The series begins with Palace Walk introducing tyrannical father al-Sayyid Ahmad, his timid wife and his rebellious children, providing insight into Cairo society at the end of World War 1. Palace of Desire and Sugar Street complete the trilogy.