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Thursday, May 21, 2009

MoJo Interview: Khaled Hosseini, Kabul's Splendid Son

Khaled Hosseini's fortunes have risen as his native Afghanistan's have sunk. His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, an engrossing tale of friendship, betrayal, and redemption, sold more than 6 million copies and was turned into a feature film. His second Afghan-centric best-seller, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is also headed to the silver screen. But the 44-year-old novelist's greatest stroke of luck came decades ago. When he was 11, he moved to Paris, where his diplomat father had been posted. Two years later, in 1978, communists assassinated Afghanistan's president, triggering a cycle of war and upheaval that continues today. Hosseini's family eventually settled in California, where he became a doctor. Now a full-time writer and goodwill envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he is skeptical that sending more US troops can bring his homeland back from the brink. "We're not going to win this war with bullets and guns," he says. "There has to be a broader plan." (Click here to hear audio excerpts from this interview.)


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