Dear Khaled Hosseini, I very much enjoyed your book, 'And The Mountains Echoed'. My favourite story was that of Nabi. Why did you choose to have the novel set of several decades and in many places? Was it because it allowed you to more easily explore themes rather than focus on a single story set in one particular time and place? Thank you.
Soon after I started the book, in fact about the time that I got to Nabi’s perspective, I realized that a whole host of characters were taking shape in my mind and crying out for their stories to be told, a feat that would prove impossible with a traditional linear structure. Though my intent was still to write something with both the heft and the arc of a novel, I saw that I could only do it in chapters, each standing more or less on its own, eacg structurally complete, but each also augmenting and illuminating part of a much bigger story. I wanted each chapter to provide answers to questions raised earlier in the book, each to reveal epiphanies both minor and major, and each chapter to be better understood and appreciated if you had read the previous ones. The intent –to what extent I succeeded is of course up to my readers- was to create a better whole from a series of units that are, to varying extents, free-standing and complete.