A Thousand Splendid Suns

While the first three parts of the novel are written in the past tense, the final part is written in present tense. What do you think was the author’s intent in making this shift? How does it change the effect of this final section?

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The novel's point of view is presented in the third person by an omniscient narrator, who tells the story from the perspective of the two main female characters, Mariam and Laila. The story is told in three separate portions; Miriam's, Laila's, and finally the story of the two as their lives intertwined. The first sections in the past tense, as they are recording events. The final section is told in the present tense because it was filling us in on the women's lives. When the novel ends, Miriam has been executed and Laila is pregnant. Laila's story hasn't ended, thus the story ends in the present.


A Thousand Splendid Suns