Whatever the readers feel when they're reading my books, I feel it tenfold when I'm writing it.
I've been told, and I think I recognize it, that there's a cinematic quality to my writing, with a sense of image and place and scene - and, some would say, my tendency to finish my books the way Hollywood finishes its films.
I am always revolted when Islamic leaders, from Afghanistan or elsewhere, deny the very existence of female oppression, avoid the issue by pointing to examples of what they view as Western mistreatment of women, or even worse, justify the oppression of women on the basis of notions derived from Sharia law.
I don't think she is underappreciated, certainly not among writers, but Alice Munro is the classic underappreciated writer among readers. It is almost a cliche now to wonder why this living legend is not more widely read.
I spent a lot of winters in my childhood flying kites with my brother, with my cousins, with friends in the neighborhood. It's what we did in the winter. Schools close down. There was not much to do.
You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen - it becomes distorted, and it's been diminished.
I find myself drawn to that period where children are about to leave childhood behind. When you're 12 years old, you still have one foot in childhood; the other is poised to enter a completely new stage of life. Your innocent understanding of the world moves towards something messier and more complicated, and once it does you can never go back.
Economic chasm between people is something that is of interest to me. And something that I used to write about even as a child. It's something I've revisited a few times in my writings.
The difficulty of writing a second novel is directly proportional to how successful the first novel was, it seems.
For me as a writer, the story has always taken precedence over everything else. I have never sat down to write with broad, sweeping ideas in mind, and certainly never with a specific agenda.
A Western-style democracy in Afghanistan is a dream. I don't see that as a reality anytime soon. But I think some form of representative political process is not that far-fetched.
The only two places where I can read for long stretches are in airplanes and in bed at nighttime.
There's nothing easy about writing. It's always difficult. It's always a struggle.
American high school culture was impenetrable to me, and very cliquey: you had the Hispanics, the African Americans, the surfer guys and the goths and the immigrants. The jocks and the surfers got the girls. By the time I'd got to grips with it, I'd graduated.
Ultimately, my books are not about the politics, although the toil and the struggle and the wars in Afghanistan have a significant impact on the lives of my characters.
It's a very nice kind of quasi-fame being a writer, because you remain largely anonymous and you can have a private life, which I really cherish. I don't like to be in the public light all that much. I don't crave the whole fame thing at all.
My books are love stories at core, really. But I am interested in manifestations of love beyond the traditional romantic notion. In fact, I seem not particularly inclined to write romantic love as a narrative motive or as an easy source of happiness for my characters.
I lay no claim, it should be clear, to being a historian. So in my books, the intimate and personal have been intertwined inextricably with the broad and historical.
I grew up in a society with a very ancient and strong oral storytelling tradition. I was told stories, as a child, by my grandmother, and my father as well.
To me, families are puzzles that take a lifetime to work out - or not, as often is the case - and I like to explore how people within them try to connect, be it through love, duty, or circumstance.
I have met so many people who say they've got a book in them, but they've never written a word. To be a writer - this may seem trite, I realize - you have to actually write.
Sad stories make good books
Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.
Though The Kite Runner was my first completed novel, I had been writing on and off for most of my life, primarily short stories, and primarily for myself.
A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer.
A man's heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn't like a mother's womb. It won't bleed. It won't stretch to make room for you.
The story line of my novel [The Kite Runner] is largely fictional. The characters were invented and the plot imagined.
J'aurais dÃ» Ãªtre plus gentille-I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah, I wish I was not good to that person. You will never think that.
Nothing good came free. Even love. You paid for all things. And if you were poor, suffering was your currency.
Whether you do something or decide to do nothing, either way, you are making a moral choice. And I hope people make the right one.
We [in The Khaled Hosseini Foundation] support and fund projects that bring jobs, healthcare, and education to women and children. In addition, we award scholarships to women pursuing higher education in Afghanistan.
I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.
I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn't.
There [in The Kite Runner] certainly are, as is always the case with fiction, autobiographical elements woven through the narrative.
But time, it is like charm. You never have as much as you think.
It's tremendous what can happen when suddenly you make an emotional connection.
It's a funny thing... but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really, what guides them is what they're afraid of. What they don't want.
My family left Afghanistan in 1976, well before the Communist coup and the Soviet invasion. We certainly thought we would be going back. But when we saw those Soviet tanks rolling into Afghanistan, the prospect for return looked very dim. Few of us, I have to say, envisioned that nearly a quarter century of bloodletting would follow.
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.