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.
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.