Khaled Hosseini and his background
Khaled Hosseini (b. 1965), the author of The Kite Runner, is an Afghan-American novelist. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965, and grew up there until 1970. His father was a diplomat, and his mother was a secondary-school Persian language teacher. In 1970, Hosseini’s family moved to Iran, following Hosseini’s father, who worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Teheran. Three years later, the family returned to Kabul.
In 1976, the Hosseini family moved to Paris, because of Hosseini’s father's job. Because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Hosseini family was unable to return home and sought political asylum in the United States. They moved to California, and Hosseini, who was fifteen years old, suffered a culture shock as he did not speak English. The family lived on welfare for a while, but Hosseini was determined to secure his financial independence by becoming a doctor. He graduated from the University Of California San Diego School Of Medicine in 1993 and completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1997.
Hosseini practiced medicine for over a decade, until soon after the publication of The Kite Runner. The novel’s success and its focus on the Afghan refugee crisis led to Hosseini being appointed goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR.
One of the characters from Hosseini’s third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, is Idris, an Afghan-American doctor who left Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion. In an interview, Hosseini claimed that Idris’ character was deeply autobiographical and inspired by the author’s career in medicine.
The Kite Runner and its political context