The Kite Runner - Introduction to the book

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Transcript of The Kite Runner - Introduction to the book

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    An introduction to the book

  • FactsheetDate of publication:





    Time; 1971-2001


    Kabul, Afghanistan

    California, United States

  • FactsheetBestseller in the United States in 2005.

    English is Hosseinis second language.

    By 2008, The Kite Runner was on the American Library Association's list of most challenged books.

  • Khaled HosseiniMarch 4, 1965

    Born in Kabul, Afghanistan

    Published 3 books.

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

    And the Mountains Echoed.

    Used to work as a doctor in California.

  • Khaled Hosseini

    Moved to France aged 11, applied for asylum in USA 4 years later.

    Returned to Afghanistan in 2001, felt like a tourist in his own country.

  • FilmFilm adaptation in 2007.

    Film did not help the controversy, most explicit scenes from the book are in the film.

    Child actors received death threats.

    Filmstudio Paramount Pictures paid to relocate them to the United Arab Emirates.

    Their costs of living will be paid by the studio until they are 18.

    We will watch the film together.

  • ContextFrom 1933-1973, Afghanistan was a monarchy.

    In July, 1973, when the king was on vacation, his cousin seized power.

    Coup was bloodless, but riots and shooting were heard in the streets.

  • Context

    In 1978, the new king was overthrown by the PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan).

    Afghanistan wanted to stay independent from Russia, but the PDPA was a communist party.

  • ContextPDPA reformed Afghanistan, many traditionals got angry.

    1979, the Russians came to the rescue. This started the Afghan-Russian war.

    Soviets didnt leave until 1989.

    Resistance came from Muslim forces (mujahedins). USA supported this.

  • ContextAfter the Soviets left, many militias made Afghanistan unsafe.

    1996, the Taliban seized power.

    After all the insecurity, people welcomed the takeover.

    Taliban massacred opposition, and enforced religious laws.

    Banned music and dance.

    Severely restricted womens rights.

  • ContextAfter September 11, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan.

    (The Kite Runner ends in 2001)

    With the United States slowly retreating, Taliban is reemerging.

    Because of weak government, violence and human rights abuses are still a common reality in Afghanistan (Amnesty International, 2007)

  • AfghanistanKnowing the history of the country is vital to really understanding the book.

    reveals the beauty and pain of a troubled nation as it tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two boys from opposite ends of society, and of the troubled but lasting relationship between a father and a son. [Wired Magazine, adapted]

  • Next week

    Analysis chapters 1-5

  • ONE

    December 2001

    I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but its wrong what they say about the past, Ive learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

  • 'One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasnt just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins. After I hung up, I went for a walk along Spreckels Lake on the northern edge of Golden Gate Park. The early-afternoon sun sparkled on the water where dozens of miniature boats sailed, propelled by a crisp breeze. Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home. And suddenly Hassans voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the harelipped kite runner.

  • I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.