Khaled Hosseini is the bestselling Afghan born American author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 4, 1965. His father was an Afghan diplomat who worked at the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother, a high school teacher taught Farsi and History in a large Kabul school. The family moved to Paris in 1976 when the foreign ministry gave relocation orders to Hosseini’s father. Instead of returning to Kabul in 1980, the family sought political asylum in the United States due to the terrible conditions in Afghanistan after the invasion of the Soviet army. They were granted the asylum and they moved to San Jose, California in September, 1980.
In 1984, Khaled graduated from the Independence High School moving on to studying Biology at Santa Clara University. He graduated with Bachelors in Biology in 1988 after which he attended the University of California-San Diego’s School of Medicine where he completed his M.D. in 1993. Having undergone residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, Hosseini became a physician and practiced medicine during the years of 1996 and 2004. He conceived the idea of and began writing The Kite Runner while making a living as a medical practitioner in 2001.
The Kite Runner was published in 2003, immediately becoming an international bestseller. The novel was published in 70 countries, however, never in Afghanistan. While some parts of the novel are based on Hossein’s childhood, the novel is otherwise a work of fiction. According to Nielsen BookScan, The Kite Runner secured the number three best selling position in the United States in 2005. It was also produced as an audio book recorded in Hosseini’s voice. In 2007, The Kite Runner was adapted to screen bearing the same title as the novel. Hosseini made a brief appearance in a scene towards the end of the movie.
While The Kite Runner focuses mainly on relationships between men, Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns revolves around the relationship between two women. It was released in 2007. With positive reviews from leading sources, the novel has so far been published in 60 countries and set to be made into a movie by producer Scott Rudin and Columbia Pictures who have acquired its rights.
Having set both his novels in Afghanistan, Hosseini’s devotion to his homeland extends beyond his writings. His activism for a better Afghanistan is proof of his love for the country. Since 2006, Hosseini has served as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR. His official website also contains information and links to many aid organizations helping Afghanistan in addition to The Khaled Hosseini Foundation which provides humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. The foundation came into being after a trip Hosseini made to Afghanistan in 2007. Having gone there for the first time in twenty seven years, Hosseini was immensely disturbed to discover the situation of the country he was born in.
Described as a smart minded handsome man by interviewers, Khaled Hosseini was declared the most famous Afghan in the world by Time Magazine. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Roya and their two children.