“For you, a thousand times over”- Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
The Afghan-born American novelist Khaled Hosseini is renowned for his three bestselling novels, The Kite Runner (2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) and And The Mountains Echoed (2013). Set against the backdrop of the fluctuating social and political climate of Afghanistan, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States and the rise of the Taliban regime, his works explore the tumultuous lives of the Afghans.
Born in Kabul in 1965, Hosseini had a beautiful childhood in his homeland. After moving to France in 1976, they could not return to Kabul and in 1980, went to the United States. When he finally returned in 2001 at the age of 36, he “felt like a tourist in his own country”. His works thus reflect his nostalgia for the fond memories of his childhood and also the sense of alienation and loneliness of the community of diasporic Afghans to which he too belonged. His three novels respectively present a father-son relationship, mother-daughter relationship, and a sibling relationship. Delving into the intricacies and complexities of these relationships, Hosseini succeeds in pulling at the heartstrings of the readers. Even though his stories always draw on a familial background, they also contain greater themes of universal significance like love, friendship, betrayal, guilt, and redemption. While he strongly opposes any personal semblance to his characters, one cannot deny the autobiographical elements in his works. His powerful storytelling gives the readers a vivid portrait of Afghanistan.
Hosseini has been honored with numerous accolades over the years Exclusive Books Boeke Prize, British Book Awards, Book Sense Book of the Year Awards, California Book Award Silver Medal and Goodreads Choice Award. He is also a U.S Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.