The Kite Runner Author Returns Home

What happened after Kite Runner author Khaled Hosseini finally returned to Afghanistan

Thomas Broening for TIME

Khaled Hosseini, author of A Thousand Splendid Suns.

If you were going to write a novel about an expatriate Afghan returning to the land of his birth, the usual way to do it would be, first, return to Afghanistan, and then, second, write a novel about it. Khaled Hosseini did it backward. He wrote the runaway best-seller The Kite Runner first, about an Afghan living in California who returns home to redeem a moment of cowardice from his childhood. Only in 2003, when the book was already done, did Hosseini go back to Kabul, the city where he was born. He hadn't seen it in 27 years.

"On the...

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