Book of the month: Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner

Author: Bahar Salma University Chouaib Doukkali

“For you, a thousand times over.”

“…there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.”

Love is “unconditional.” But, regret !! it is always conditional, regret is most likely driven by what was not done. Redemption is what we seek to soothe the haunting pain of regret and that smile; Sohrab’s tiny hidden smile was Amir’s hope of a probable remedy.

Our book recommendation of the month is a read like no other, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner published in 2003 is a literary sensation and New York Times bestseller. The novel is achingly a scream of emotions, it is a powerful heartbreaking story that certainly won’t leave you when you leave the book to a closer.
The novel is often referred to as a father-son story, it is a story of two boys Amir and Hassan his “supposedly” best friend, Hassan is Amir’s house servant. Through their story, Hosseini weaves a dramatic story of love, family, trust, sacrifice, betrayal, forgiveness, violence, brutality, guilt, and the haunting ghost of regret. It is a moving story historically and culturally.
Through a very real portrayal Hosseini kicks off his story from the peaceful days of Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion, he offers a sharp description of Kabul’s peaceful years when it was a city of movie theatres, shops, bazaars, and universities where everyone was allowed access. The Kite Runner is a powerful work of writing that is presented to educate the readers about the afghani culture, history, and political upheavals. But ultimately to delve into the intersection of the personal experiences with the political ones and highlight the theme of displacement. Hosseini draws on his personal experience as an Afghani writer to reflect on the good peaceful days of Afghanistan as he remembers them before being destroyed by both the Soviet invasion and later on when taken over by the Taliban regime, a time of war, bombings, and distraction. He gives voice to his homeland through an amazing emotional and immersive story.
What makes the read fascinating is the way it deals with human emotions genuinely, the author does not project a “typical” fictional hero instead the narrator is a human; vulnerable at times and coward at others. The narrator himself admits that he is not the bravest nor the noblest of men. Yet, the return to his homeland after 20 years to atone for a sin he committed as a boy and enduring the risks that come with his return was brave enough to gain him back some value.
Hosseini is one of a few authors who manage to record historical and political events through the smooth heart wrenching personal tales of his characters. The Kite Runner delves into the aporia of shifting identities first as life changes in Kabul, and later when taken with the narrator to the Afghan community in San Fransico, and most importantly the trip back to his homeland twenty years later ruled by Taliban then.

 

Hosseini, K. (2003). The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Bahar Salma obtained her BA in English studies; literary and cultural stream, and MA in intercultural communication entitled Communication in Contexts: Culture and Dialogue. She is a PhD candidate at University Chouaib Doukkali. Her fields of interests are: post colonial studies, cultural studies, migration and refugee studies, identity politics, sociopolitical sciences, minority studies and representations of otherness.


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