Khaled Hosseini Discusses The Kite Runner

Posted on November 5, 2005

The Associated Press talks with Khaled Hosseini about his inspiration for his bestselling novel, The Kite Runner. Hosseini, an physician who was born in Afghanistan, says that he first wrote a short story about two Afghan boys who enjoyed flying kites. He wrote the original short story six years ago, all in one 12-hour stretch. He didn't pick up the manuscript again until two years later when his father-in-law read the story and told him it should be longer.

"I revisited the short story and decided that maybe there was a book in it," Hosseini recalls, leaning against the thick cushions of his living room sofa. "It really started off very small."

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"That it would reach this kind of readership is pretty stunning," says Hosseini, wearing a striped button-down shirt and white pants. "It's still pretty weird."

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Hosseini, 40, is surprisingly modest for a first-time novelist who has enjoyed such phenomenal success. He's still getting used to his newfound fame, and says he never intended to be a writer.

It's an interesting interview: some Afghan-Americans were unhappy that Hosseini openly talked about some issues that they thought should remain private among Afghans. But Hosseini feels strongly about the book he wrote, and stuck to his vision. Hosseini lives in America now, where he practices medicine and is working on his next book. He told the AP that they speak to their kids in both Farsi and English.

Hosseini also says in the interview that he began writing because he loved writing. He says, "I always loved writing, but I really just did it for myself because I enjoyed the act of writing and creating stories. I never wrote with the aim of publishing. ... Now I find myself doing it for a living, at least for the time being."