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
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
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
where he earned a bachelorís degree in
Biology in 1988. The following
year, he entered the
Medicine, where he earned a Medical Degree in 1993. He completed his residency at
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
the author's website.
Schwartz, Associate Director of Publicity, Riverhead Trade Paperbacks)
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)