A Thousand Splendid Memories

HosseiniOne of the reasons that I have been busy is that one of my writing group friends, Lucy, was dying – she passed away precisely one week ago – and like all of her friends I tried to visit her in hospital as much as possible. She leaves a considerable legacy: not least two wonderful daughters and an extraordinary autobiographical manuscript about her bitter-sweet life as a Tomboy in the Australian outback. Another member of our group has now taken the ms in hand to make sure that, in due course, it gets published. Lucy had a very hard life. Indeed, you could say that her life was one long succession of misfortunes. But she was the toughest of tough cookies and through it all she never lost her sunny disposition. Over the summer I finally got around to reading a book she had warmly recommended to me: A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. It is a wonderful book – possibly better than The Kite Runner– at once depressing and a testament to the fortitude of the human spirit and, above all, women in the face of adversity. Lucy was so determined that I should read it that she loaned me her copy. One passage, just one passage, was marked in the book and I can’t help but feel that Lucy wanted me to come across it. Whether she did or she didn’t, it sums her up perfectly, for Lucy was indeed: ‘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.’

1 Comment

  1. Joanna Kyriakis

    Martin – I bought A thousand splendid suns at Heathrow to read during the summer. 2008 (or was it 2007) Books seem to be available at Heathrow some six months before they are released in the bookstores here. Then come Christmas I was given another copy. I offered them to various people but it was so popular that all had read it by then. Then a wonderful opportunity came up —I use a mini-cab company quite a lot to & from Heathrow and the drivers are Afghan boys. We always have wonderful chats and I found that they were longing to read this book. So eventually my two copies found a good home.

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