QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
Khaled Hosseini’s stunning debut novel The Kite Runner follows a young boy, Amir, as he faces the challenges that confront him on the path to manhood—testing friendships, finding love, cheating death, accepting faults, and gaining understanding. Living in Afghanistan in the 1960s, Amir enjoys a life of privilege that is shaped by his brotherly friendship with Hassan, his servant’s son. Amir lives in constant want of his father’s attention, feeling that he is a failure in his father’s eyes. Hassan, on the other hand, seems to be able to do no wrong. Their friendship is a complex tapestry of love, loss, privilege, and shame.
Striving to be the son his father always wanted, Amir takes on the weight of living up to unrealistic expectations and places the fate of his relationship with his father on the outcome of a kite running tournament, a popular challenge in which participants must cut down the kites of others with their own kite. Amir wins the tournament. Yet just as he begins to feel that all will be right in the world, a tragedy occurs with his friend Hassan in a back alley on the very streets where the boys once played. This moment marks a turning point in Amir’s life—one whose memory he seeks to bury by moving to America. There he realizes his dream of becoming a writer and marries for love but the memory of that fateful day will prove too strong to forget. Eventually it draws Amir back to Afghanistan to right the wrongs that began that day in the alley and continued in the days, months, and years that followed.
ABOUT KHALED HOSSEINI
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. The son of a diplomat, his family received political asylum in the United States in 1980. He currently lives in California where he is a physician. The Kite Runner was his first novel.