Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: And the Mountains Echoed
- Where Written: Kabul, Afghanistan and New York City, USA
- When Published: May 21, 2013
- Literary Period: Globalization fictions of the early 21st century
- Genre: Generational drama, historical novel
- Setting: There are many: Shadbagh, New Shadbagh, and Kabul (all in Afghanistan); Paris, France; Tinos, Greece; California, USA.
- Climax: While And the Mountains Echoed is, in many ways, a collection of short vignettes, each of which can be said to have a climax, the climax of the entire novel arguably comes in Chapter Nine, when Pari reunites with her brother, Abdullah.
- Antagonist: None—in the vast, interconnected world of the novel, it’s hard to separate “good” and “bad” characters.
- Point of View: The novel consists of nine chapters, each narrated from a different point of view. One chapter is epistolary (written in the form of a letter), another is written in the first person, and several others are narrated in the third person limited point of view. The majority of the chapters are also written in the present tense, rather than the more common past tense.
Art and life: There’s a good reason why all of Khaled Hosseini’s novels concern the years following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Hosseini has admitted to suffering from a sense of survivor’s guilt: he wishes his family hadn’t left the country before the Soviet-Afghan War began. By writing about Afghanistan’s history since that time, Hosseini controls and, he says, combats his acute sense of guilt.
Going for triple digits: You know you’re a big-time author when your least successful book spends 33 weeks on the bestseller list. This was the case with And the Mountains Echoed, which was on the New York Times Best Seller list until January 2014, often in the number one slot. Any other novelist would have viewed this as a major achievement, but compared with The Kite Runner (101 weeks) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (103 weeks), it was only a modest success for Hosseini.