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  One City, One Story 2005: Author & Book  
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One City, One Story

    THE KITE RUNNER
    By Khaled Hosseini


About the Author                                                 Print author biography
Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965.  His father was a diplomat with the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and History at a large high school in Kabul.  In 1970, the Foreign Ministry sent his family to Tehran, where his father worked for the Afghan embassy.  They lived in Tehran until 1973, at which point they returned to Kabul In July of 1973, on the night Hosseiniís youngest brother was born, the Afghan king, Zahir Shah, was overthrown in a bloodless coup by the kingís cousin, Daoud Khan. At the time, Hosseini was in fourth grade and was already drawn to poetry and prose; he read a great deal of Persian poetry as well as Farsi translations of novels ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Mickey Spillaneís Mike Hammer series. 

In 1976, the Afghan Foreign Ministry once again relocated the Hosseini family, this time to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then Afghanistan had already witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion of the Soviet army. The Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in the United States In September of 1980, Hosseiniís family moved to San Jose, California. They lived on welfare and food stamps for a short while, as they had lost all of their property in Afghanistan. His father took multiple jobs and managed to get his family off welfare.  Hosseini graduated from high school in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University where he earned a bachelorís degree in Biology in 1988.  The following year, he entered the University of California-San Diego ís School of Medicine, where he earned a Medical Degree in 1993. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hosseini has been in practice (Internal Medicine) since 1996, but his first love has always been writing. Hosseiniís vivid, and fond, memories of peaceful pre-Soviet era Afghanistan led partially to the writing of this novel, as well as his personal experiences with Afghan Hazaras.  One Hazara man in particular was a thirty-year-old man named Hossein Khan, who worked for the Hosseinis when they were living in Iran.  When Hosseini was in the third grade, he taught Khan to read and write. Though his relationship with Hossein Khan was brief and rather formal, Hosseini always remembered the fondness that developed between them, and those memories served as an inspiration of sorts for the relationship between Amir and Hassan in THE KITE RUNNER.

Visit the author's website.

(Source: Leslie Schwartz, Associate Director of Publicity, Riverhead Trade Paperbacks)


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About the Book                                                                     Print book summary
The Kite Runner

Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan , the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of their lies. Written against a history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But with the devastation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through the novel's faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for redemption.   
 
(From Kirkus Reviews)  


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Last update: August 14, 2009