Khaled Hosseini Context

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  • 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' Context
    • Early life
      • He was born in Kabul in 1965
        • On returning to Afghanistan, Hosseini claimed he felt like a tourist, rather than someone returning to their home country
          • He described it as looking like a "war zone" despite there not being any conflict for years.
          • He also assumed that that a child was a beggar
      • His father was a diplomat in Paris - he and his family moved there for four years in 1976
        • They never ended up returning due to the coup staged by Communists in 1978.
          • From December 1979, the Soviets ruled Afghanistan
      • He described his life in Afghanistan as "peaceful" during the 1960s and 70s
      • After the coup, the family began to receive news almost on a weekly basis of family members and friends being killed in Afghanistan
        • Then, they realised they could not return home to Afghanistan, and applied for asylum in the U.S.
          • Khaled was 15 at the time, and led to feelings of displacement for the family
      • in 1980, his family then sought political asylum in the USA
        • The family suffered a cultural shock when relocating to California. They couldn't speak English well but eventually adjusted to life in America
    • Effect on books
      • The struggle to adjust to living in America is linked to the identity issues prevalent in Hosseini's novels.
      • Said his novels were love stories. The love in his family may have inspired this theme.
        • Hosseini's novels focus on familial love and the love in friendships, rather than the notion of romantic love
        • Family life is central to Afghan and Middle Eastern culture, along with hospitality
    • Personal life
      • His mother worked as a teacher and professor of Farsi and history
        • Afghan women in professional careers
      • He previously worked as a doctor of internal medicine
        • Although he enjoyed parts of his work, it wasn't his passion; writing was. However, the existing stigma among immigrant families was that writing was seen as more of a hobby than a livelihood.
    • Humanitarian work
      • Hosseini has his own organisation dedicated to helping people in Afghanistan - particularly the dispossessed and the marginalised.
        • Especially women, children and the poor
          • Giving grants for women to receive an education in learning centres and work prospects in Afghanistan
          • Created homeless shelters to combat homelessness in Afghanistan
          • Gave grants to NGOs to schemes to prevent child exploitation


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