Literature has the power to transport you to different times, places and worlds. But when was the last time you explored ‘the world of literature’, so to say? We are constantly bombarded by work by the likes of English writers like Austen, Dickens and Wilde, but we are rarely exposed to work by foreign authors. Literature exists in every corner of the world and it is time we paid greater attention to it. Here, some of The Indiependent writers delve into their bookshelves to discuss their favourite foreign gems…
Afghanistan: Hosseini – The Kite Runner
A tragic and emotional tale about friendship, betrayal and atonement. Hosseini offers the Western world an insight to the ‘real’ Afghanistan that is clouded behind a media portrayal that is full of war and oppression.
You can’t help but feel sorry for protagonist Amir, who is haunted by his guilt of not revealing that he saw his servent/friend, Hassan, get raped. However, you simultaneously feel completely unsympathetic due to his ignorant and bullish behaviour towards Hassan. You follow his story from a young boy living a happy life in Kabul to fleeing the country to America due the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, bringing with it violence, blood and destruction. Throughout the novel, we see Amir trying to redeem himself from his selfish acts and childhood guilt to adulthood, and whether he is able to or not is up for the reader to decide.
While studying the The Kite Runner at AS level I was initially a little reluctant to read it but. However, and as much of a cliché as it sounds, you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I was surprised by how beautiful this book really is, full of literary techniques which would satisfy all the literature nerds and also a fantastic read for those who consider themselves not much of a reader. It’s one of those books that will stand the test of time – a modern classic.
Words by Olivia Walsh