About the Book

The Kite Runner

Living with his wife among the community of Afghan exiles in San Francisco, Amir remains haunted by a shameful episode from his childhood-he betrayed the trust of Hassan, his playmate-and longs for the opportunity to make amends for his dishonorable behavior. The chance for redemption comes when Amir receives a phone call from a family friend exiled in Pakistan who informs him that the Taliban have executed Hassan and his wife. Their son must be rescued from a Kabul orphanage. Determined to find "a way to be good again," Amir embarks on a dangerous journey back home to an Afghanistan transformed by the oppression of the Taliban.

Since it was published (2003), The Kite Runner has been lavishly praised by the critics, captivated readers across the country, and climbed steadily up the bestseller lists. Hosseini's debut is a moving, evocative novel that explores "all the great themes of literature and life" (Isabel Allende) and offers readers a sweeping overview of three decades of Afghan history.

"Here's a real find: a striking debut from an Afghan now living in the US...Rather than settle for a coming-of-age or travails-of-immigrants story, Hosseini has folded them both into this searing spectacle of hard-won personal salvation. All this, and a rich slice of Afghan culture too: irresistible."

"This powerful first novel, by an Afghan physician now living in California, tells a story of fierce cruelty and fierce yet redeeming love...In "The Kite Runner" Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence-forces that continue to threaten them even today."
-New York Times Book Review

"Hosseini's stunning debut novel starts as an eloquent Afghan version of the American immigrant experience in the late 20th century, but betrayal and redemption come to the forefront when the narrator, a writer, returns to his ravaged homeland to rescue the son of his childhood friend after the boy's parents are shot during the Taliban takeover in the mid '90s...Add an incisive, perceptive examination of recent Afghan history and its ramifications in both America and the Middle East, and the result is a complete work of literature that succeeds in exploring the culture of a previously obscure nation that has become a pivot point in the global politics of the new millennium."
-Publishers Weekly

"This beautifully written first novel presents a glimpse of life in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion and introduces richly drawn, memorable characters...This gripping story of personal redemption will capture readers' interest."
-School Library Journal

"Current events will garner interest for this novel; the quality of Hosseini's writing and the emotional impact of the story will guarantee its longevity."

cover of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

-Excerpt from Chapter One