Reading Hosseini, A Thousand Times Over

“For you, a thousand times over.” 📚

Being of the most iconic and memorable lines from the modern literature classic ‘The Kite Runner’, I think it is my personal favorite for sure. And like this memorable line, I can literally read any Khaled Hosseini book, truly, a thousand times over! It’s 20 years of The Kite Runner and I feel like we should all go down a memory lane to celebrate Hosseini’s outstanding, memorable work!

Khaled Hosseini has written books that are best known for their empathetic tone, as they evoke emotions that cut to the core of the human heart. His stories dig deep into the human soul to find the fine line that separates right and wrong, love and betrayal, redemption and loss, forgiveness and revenge, power and weakness, conviction and indifference. They have an underlying theme of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history and through them, his voice has been revolutionary as a ‘spokesperson’ for the Afghan community.

Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner has become an international publishing phenomenon, which spent 101 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, four of them at number one. Following the success of his first book in 2003, Hosseini returned to Afghanistan for the first time in 27 years after being a medical practitioner in San Jose for more than ten years. He was shocked by the devastation that years of war had wrought on the city he knew as a child, but was moved to find that the traditional spirit of hospitality and generosity was unchanged. Everywhere, he heard stories of the tragedies his countrymen had suffered.

He went on to tell more of these stories through his other books that spoke about the effects of the marginalization of women’s human rights as well. We see the full impact of a misguided patriarchal rule in A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed.

His latest graphic novel The Sea Prayer focuses on the power of storytelling and the importance of explaining harsh realities to children about the refugee crisis.

The quality that separates Hosseini apart from his contemporaries is his style of portraying complex things effortlessly like love and relationships, war and the value of life, gender oppression and the patriarchy, injustice and loss.

The Kite Runner embodies all of these complexities Hosseini is an expert at handling, knowing their sensitivity well and bringing the characters to life. He has been one of my favorite authors for years and having read all his books, I reserved his first (and the best) for the last.

So here is a mini review of The Kite Runner:

Synopsis: Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

To say that Khaled Hosseini is a master storyteller, is an understatement. Telling the unforgettable, heartbreaking story of an unlikely friendship, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that was being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons — their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

Reading this book while living in San Francisco gave me an unexpected sense of relatability. I walked the streets of this city while learning more about how it was a few decades ago, beautifully penned by Hosseini just as he did with Afghanistan. His experiences as an immigrant trying to build a better future and struggle with life choices are relevant, if not the same, even today. But your heart breaks when you read about the despotism faced by the Afghan community and other refugees, and the sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against its devastating backdrop over the last thirty years.

The Kite Runner is a one-of-a-kind classic, which I have no doubt will continue to be a part of the global literature landscape for years to come!

The Khaled Hosseini Foundation was inspired by a 2007 trip that Hosseini made to Afghanistan as an Envoy to Ambassador for the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency). The foundation helps women and children in Afghanistan who have suffered from war for over 40 years. Share your support to empower these vulnerable groups by funding 501(c)(3) nonprofits on the ground in Afghanistan who work to provide education, economic development opportunities, and healthcare.

Let me know what your favorite Khaled Hosseini book is and keep following Dreamy Nomad for more bookish and travel content! 🙂

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