Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Khaled Hosseini

Born 1965

Each morning as you pick up the paper over your cup of tea you read about the happenings in a far off country. They might disturb you sometimes, but you start your day and it’s all forgotten. Then along comes an author who tells a story so powerful, so stirring he makes the country come alive in a way that you can never get it out of your mind.

That’s what Khaled Hosseini’s books did for me.  Not only does he weave a perfect story, the setting brings alive Afghanistan, his country of birth, in an I-saw-it-happen kind of way.

Hosseini was born in Afghanistan but his father, a diplomat, moved to France when he was 11. He never got back to Kabul until much later when he was 38. However his connection with the country remained strong through his friends and family back home.
A doctor by profession, he gave it up after the success of his debut book ‘The Kite Runner’ to become a full time writer.

His books

Kite Runner
The Kite Runner was born when Hossieni heard the Taliban had banned kite flying. Since he had plenty of happy memories of this childhood sport he found the dictat exceptionally cruel. He did a short story on it but it was rejected. Years later he found the draft and decided to expand it into a novel.

That the book tells the story of a father and a son, a story of friendship, of betrayal and of redemption is what makes it universal. Although the political upheaval in Afghanistan is a story in itself, in the book it is a backdrop that adds beautifully to the heartbreaking narrative.

After getting into a young boy’s mind Hosseini explored the relationship between two women Mariam and Laila bound together by a strange bond in his next A Thousand Splendid Suns.

His third book, And the Mountains Echoed, is yet again about relationships.. between a brother and a sister, a mother and a daughter.

What I like best ...

...about his books is the way he explores the connection between people – relationships are central to his tales. I love that his stories allow for redemption. I love that despite the dark narrative they end with a ray of hope, however tiny. And I love the way he weaves in the political background so that it becomes a part of the story.

So what do you love about Khaled Hosseini?

Tomorrow's clue will be an easy one if you studied at a conservative Convent school like I did. It's a lady again... a lady of my childhood who wrote stories about good little girls for good little girls. Come on ladies - come up with the name.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014 for the theme AMAZING AUTHORS.

Also linking to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to Khaled !

  2. Sadly, I have never had the pleasure of reading any of his work however, you make his books sound very appealing. ♥

  3. Now he is an author I have been meaning for read for some time now...hopefully soon. I like these kinds of human stories set in some critically significant backdrop of the society. Your post encouraged me to pick up one of his books sooner than later :) So thanks!

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

  4. I have read his first 2 books and And the Mountains Echoed is lying in my home library cupboard, which have yet to read! Reading the first 2 books was an eye-opener... it was shocking, moving to learn about the society and the state of affairs in Afghanistan and the fact that the way the stories were weaved, well, they were unputdownable. I am looking forward to read the And the Mountains Echoed soon!

  5. I absolutely love reading him...there's something so human about the tales he tells....ANother gr8 author featured here :)

    Latest A2Z Challenge Post-Random Thoughts Naba

  6. I have read all his books, and love them. And the mountains echoed - I read recently. Very harsh books in many ways, some tragic human destinies, but my favorite part is also that glittery flash of Hope that he always include.. Leaves u to believe that there will be a future , something better... Great choice for K, and lovely presentation of a great writer:-)

  7. Tulika what a fabulous writer to feature. U have brought out what he writes about very well. I love his stories- they wrench my heart for the Afghans and for all other suffering people on the globe, love his portrayal of the country, politics,culture through people and the uplifting glimpses of humanity that peep through even when the clouds are darkest.

  8. That's a realistic writer you have featured today! This man knows our Achilles' heel and touches our heart through his words!!

    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

  9. Very nice choice and there is another K in Kite Runner :)


  10. I haven't read his books yet though they are on my to read list - perhaps the time isn't right for me yet.

  11. I read 'The Kite Runner' and felt a similarity to R. K. Narayanan: the story-telling style is simple and so effective that you feel you are in the place yourself.

  12. I've read the first two books of his and I am halfway through And the Mountains Echoed... awesome writer he is.

  13. Is the next one the author of Little Women?? Louisa May Alcott ? I deserve a prize if I have actually gotten this one :D

  14. Will you hate me if I say that I haven't read him yet? I just haven't had a chance to lay my hands on his books yet! Now, I am strongly tempted! Darn you, Tulika! How am I supposed to read so many books in a year now! :P

    And oh, Monday HAS to be for Louisa May Alcott! No doubt :D

  15. Haven't read anything by him but you make it appealing

    Thank you

    Carol @ Battered Hope

  16. Tulika, I have read the first two and found them unforgettable. I lived in that world for days after I had finished the books. They gave me goose bumps and shivers and made me really glad I was born and raised where I was. Brilliant write and thanks for sharing this.
    Please let Monday bring Laurie King. :)

  17. Great author and lovely review. I have read the Kite Runner and was moved by his writing. I think I know who your author with L is going to be :)

  18. I have read all his books and loved them! He portrays compkex relationships in such a heartening yet elegant manner! I love him!

  19. a thousand splendid sun is my favorite... the story is haunting and so brilliantly narrated.

  20. Visiting here from the A-Z. Both Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are brilliant and portray the complexity of Afghanistan's situation very well. The third book is a bit of a departure from the earlier two. All greatly absorbing reads.
    Best wishes,

  21. Totally agree.. 'Then along comes an author who tells a story so powerful, so stirring he makes the country come alive in a way that you can never get it out of your mind.'
    I have read only 'A thousand splendid suns'. Moved me to the core and made me feel blessed and thankful to have been born here..

  22. I love Khaled Hosseini and his writing. I have read 'And the mountains echoed' and I loved how he weaved in many emotional tales while tracking the lives of the brother and sister separated in childhood. I am yet to read Kite Runner.

  23. I am going to pick Hosseini soon..Today if possible..:)


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