Literature Study GuidesA Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns | Study Guide

Khaled Hosseini

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Khaled Hosseini

Year Published





Historical Fiction, War Literature

Perspective and Narrator

The story A Thousand Splendid Suns is told by a third-person omniscient narrator.


Parts 1, 2, and 3 of A Thousand Splendid Suns are written in the past tense. Part 4 is written in the present tense.

About the Title

The title of A Thousand Splendid Suns comes from a poem about Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, by Saeb-e-Tabrizi (c. 1592–1674), a Persian poet from Iran. In the novel Laila's father, Babi, can remember only two lines of the poem, and he recites them with great sadness when the family tries to leave Kabul. The lines are as follows:

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

When Laila and Tariq leave Murree, Pakistan, and move their family back to Kabul, Laila thinks of these two lines again as they wave goodbye through the bus windows to Sayeed, the man who runs the hotel where they lived in Murree. She thinks of the thousand suns a third time when she is sad about not knowing where Mariam is buried in Kabul but realizes that Mariam is everywhere around her, especially in her heart, "where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns."


This study guide for Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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