Friday, November 24, 2006

Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini

In October, I went to the first of a series of lectures being held by renound authors. The October lecture was given by Amy Tan. In preparation, I wanted to make sure I read one of her books. I hadn't read anything of hers before.

I chose The Hundred Secret Senses.

I am glad I chose this one. What she said in her lecture was very much part of this book. I could tell that her philosopies were very much like those of the American sister (the protagonist).

The general story involves two girls/women (they're half-sisters) of Chinese descent, and the story starts somewhere in the US (California, maybe?). There is an awful wrong that the American sister does to the Chinese sister when they are kids. When they are adults they end up in China, and there is much that the American sister learns while they are there.

I recommend this book for women. There is another book, The Kite Runner, that had the same flavor, that may have more universal appeal.

The Kite Runner is about a kid growing up in Afghanistan in the 60s or something where one fanatic group, then another, invaded and ruined life for the people who were living there. Basically created anarchy somewhat similar to the anarchy that reigns in Iraq today. I hear that it's getting better? (but I digress . . .)

The kid does something awful to his best friend, and his Dad escape Afghanistan and go to live in California. Everything happens in California, I guess. There are stories about culture shifts, adapting, etc.

The reason I compare these two books is because they both discuss confusion surrounding different cultures, plus there is a deep regret that the protagonist in each story has about a wrong they caused in someone who was very important to them.


Unknown said...

The Kite Runner is one of my favorite books. did you like it?

suzannejb8 said...

oh yes, I liked it - one amusing item that sticks in my mind was how he thought a particular girl was beautiful because she had a unibrow - takes a little bit of a paradigm shift!