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FYE Common Reader (2012-2013): The Kite Runner: The Book: The Kite Runner

A guide for faculty and First Year Experience students on the common reader, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Key Facts

Title:                         The Kite Runner

Author:                     Khaled Hosseini

Publisher:                Riverhead Books

Date:                         2003

Type of work:          Novel

Language:               English

Protagonist:            Amir

Setting (time):         1975 through 2001

Setting (place):       Afghanistan; California

Genre:                       Bildungsroman; Redemption story

 

* Published in 70 countries 

* Paperback - on bestseller list for 219 weeks (#1 for 4 weeks)

* Book Sense Bestseller List Sensation
* Boeke Prize
* Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
* ALA Notable Book
* Alex Award
* Borders Original Voices Award, 2003
* Entertainment Weekly's Best Book, 2003
* San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, 2003
* Literature to Life Award

 

Book Reviews

Characters

 Ali   Hassan's father; Sanauber's husband; servant to Baba

 Amir   narrator and protagonist; a Pashtun and Sunni Muslim; son of Baba; Hasson's friend; Soraya's husband

 

Assef   bully who joins the Taliban; a sociopath

 

Baba  Amir's father; Rahim Khan business partner; leader in Kabul

 

Dr. Armand Faruqi  surgeon who treats Amir after being beaten by Assef

 

Farid   taxi driver who takes Amir back to Afghanistan; Wahid’s brother

 

Farzana  Hassan's wife and Sohrab's mother

 

General Sahib (Iqbal Taheri)     friend of Baba's in America; father to Soraya

 

Hassan        Amir's friend and servant; a Hazara and Shi'a Muslim;  Ali and Sanauber's son; Farzana's husband

 

Kaka Sharif    Soraya's uncle

 

Kamal    childhood follower of Assef

 

Khala Taheri (Khala Jamila)   wife of General Taheri and mother to Soraya

 

Omar Faisal    lawyer who counsels Amir  to place Sohrab in an orphanage temporarily

 

Rahim Khan   Baba's best friend and business partner; father-figure to Amir

 

Raymond Andrews    official at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan

 

Sanaubar     Hassan's mother

 

Sharif    Soraya’s uncle; instrumental in helping to get Sohrab into the United States

 

Sofia Akrami     Baba's wife; Amir's mother; died in childbirth;  professor of literature at the university

 

Sohrab   Hassan and Farzana's son; Rahim Khan uses him to lure Amir back to the Middle East

 

Soraya    Amir's wife

 

Wahid      Farid's brother

 

Wali   childhood follower of Assef

 

Zaman   director of the orphanage in Kabul

 

Themes

Afghan culture

Betrayal

Choices

Class Distinctions

Coming of age

Competition

Courage and cowardice

Cruelty

Cultural differences

Discrimination

Ethnic tensions

Family ties

Fathers and sons

Forgiveness

Fear

Freedom

Friendship

Good and evil

Guilt

Happiness

Healing

Honor

Immigrant experience

Immigrant experience and the American Dream

Injustice

Literature and writing

Living up to parents’ expectations

Love

Loyalty

Lying

Politics

Power

Principles

Race

Redemption

Religion

Salvation

Search for Identity

Truth

Violence

Wealth

Symbols

Metaphors

Khaled Hosseini on Criticism of His Works