Khaled Hosseini is a well known American novelist known for writing novels in Literature & Fiction genre. Khaled was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in the year 1965 and was brought up in America right from his childhood days. AS an author, he has seen a lot of success after the release of his first three novels. He debuted with The Kite Runner in the year 2003, which went on to feature in The New York Times Bestseller list. It spent four weeks at the number one position of the total stay of 101 weeks. Writing is his second profession, the one which he developed as a hobby. He is primarily a physician and works in California as a doctor. All of his novels are partially set in Afghanistan and depict an Afghan national as the main protagonist. With the tremendous success of his first novel, Khaled gave up the profession of medicine and took writing as a full-time career. As a child, he had to travel to a number of places as his father was a diplomat. At first, his family moved along with him to France, where he spent around four years. Then he moved to the United States, along with his family and became a U.S citizen after he was granted asylum. After a long time, he traveled back to Afghanistan at the age of 38. The experience of his journey made him feel like he was just a tourist. He experiences the survivor’s guilt for leaving the country before the outbreak of wars and the Soviet invasion.
Khaled was the eldest among the five siblings. His mother was a teacher at a girls’ school in Kabul. He had a privileged upbringing, spending the first 8 years of his life in the neighborhood of Wazir Akbar Khan. When he moved to America, he was not able to speak English, which was a major hindrance in his studies and proved to be alienating. While in San Jose, California, Khaled graduated high school in the year 1984. He opted for biology and earned his bachelor’s degree in the year 1988. Then in the year 1993, Khaled joined the School of Medicine at the University of California and earned an M.D. He worked as a professional doctor for more than ten years until a few months after the release of his first novel. As a responsible human being he runs the Khaled Hossseini Foundation that works to provide assistance to the needful human beings and is also a Goodwill Envoy for the UNHCR. He is married to Roya and has two children named Farah and Haris. The family stays in Northern California. As a child, Khaled was very much influenced by the Persian poetry and still has a collection of his favorite poems in his books. He says that the Persian translations of the novels of his childhood days influenced him to become a writer. As for his love for music, he gives the credit to Ahmad Zahir, a singer from Afghanistan. Khaled says that the memories of his childhood in Afghanistan as well as the his experiences with the Hazara people from Afghanistan motivated him to write the first novel. The relationship between the main characters, Amir and Hassan in his first novel is greatly influenced from his personal relationship with a man named Hossein Khan, who taught him to read and write as well as served for his family in Iran. He has also penned down the experiences from France in his other novels.
Khaled Hosseini began his writing career with the first novel named ‘The Kite Runner’, which was published in the year 2003 by the Penguin Berkeley Publishing Group. The novel is based on the life of the main characters, Hassan, Baba, Sohrab and Amir, and is set in a number of places like Kabul, Peshawar, and California. It was based on the fact that the happenings from a few days or sometimes even a single day, can turn the lives of everyone upside down, although it may seem unfair. The plot of the novel opens up with Amir as a wealthy son of a Kabul merchant, belonging to the upper caste of the Pashums who rule the city. Hassan is shown as his servant and companion, who belongs to the impoverished community of Hazara people. Their strong bonding gets torn apart when Amir decides to abandon Hassan due to the increasing tensions related to the political, religious and ethnic aspects of the Afghan monarchy. This separates them apart. However, Amir realizes his mistake and thinks of reaching to Hassan with a view of setting the past wrongs right. Their bond proves to be very strong as Amir travels a long distance to meet his only true friend once again. The novel shows the heartbreaking and unforgettable story of an uncommon friendship between a wealthy boy and his poor companion. Author Hosseini has also done a tremendous job in depicting the then situation of Afghanistan, which was on the verge of getting destroyed. The novel shows the love, sacrifices and friendship set in the backdrop of the devastating history of Afghanistan. The success of the novel caused it to feature in the New York Times Bestsellers list and also bag a few literary awards as well as sell around 4 million copies all over the world. The prominent awards include the Borders Original Voices Award, ALA Alex Award, Puddly Award, etc. The novel was also released as an audio book read by Khaled himself. It was also adapted into a movie of the same name which was released in the year 2007. Actors Bahram and Elham Ehsas were roped in to play the characters of Amir and Hassan. Khaled also did a cameo towards the end of the film.
The next novel written author Khaled Hosseini was titled ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, which was published in the year 2007 by the Riverhead Books. This novel deals with the lives of the central characters Mariam, Tariq, Rasheed and Laila and is set in Kabul and Herat. Just like the first novel, this novel too was full of riveting, haunting and beautiful descriptions by the author. It shows the thirty years of Afghan history along with a story about friendship, family, salvation and faith. Laila and Mariam are shown as two women from different generations and having distinct ideas about family and love. The two are brought close due was losses. They keep endearing the dangers around them in the Kabul streets, which forces them to share a bond of sisters as well as a mother and daughter. They are shown to do heroic acts for protecting themselves from the dangers and doing self-sacrifices for the love of their family. They survive till the end because of love. This novel also bagged a few awards, including the Book Sense Book of the Year Award as well as nominations for the Abraham Lincoln Award and a few others. The novel is in talks to be made into a movie and all the rights have been bought by Columbia Pictures and producer Scott Rudin.
Books in order of publication:
|The Kite Runner||(2003)|
|A Thousand Splendid Suns||(2007)|
|And the Mountains Echoed||(2013)|
|The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel||(2011)|