Khaled Hosseini Biography
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. His father was a
diplomat with the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and
History at a large high school in Kabul. In 1970, the Foreign Ministry sent his
family to Tehran, where his father worked for the Afghan embassy. They lived in
Tehran until 1973, at which point they returned to Kabul. In July of 1973, on
the night Hosseinis youngest brother was born, the Afghan king, Zahir Shah, was
overthrown in a bloodless coup by the kings cousin, Daoud Khan. At the time,
Hosseini was in fourth grade and was already drawn to poetry and prose; he read
a great deal of Persian poetry as well as Farsi translations of novels ranging
from Alice in Wonderland to Mickey Spillanes Mike Hammer series.
In 1976, the Afghan Foreign Ministry once again relocated the Hosseini
family, this time to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by
then Afghanistan had already witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion
of the Soviet army. The Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in
the United States. In September of 1980, Hosseinis family moved to San Jose,
California. They lived on welfare and food stamps for a short while, as they had
lost all of their property in Afghanistan. His father took multiple jobs and
managed to get his family off welfare. Hosseini graduated from high school in
1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University where he earned a bachelors degree
in Biology in 1988. The following year, he entered the University of
California-San Diegos School of Medicine, where he earned a Medical Degree in
1993. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and
began practicing Internal Medicine in 1996. His first love, however, has always
Hosseini has vivid, and fond, memories of peaceful pre-Soviet era
Afghanistan, as well as of his personal experiences with Afghan Hazaras. One
Hazara in particular was a thirty-year-old man named Hossein Khan, who worked
for the Hosseinis when they were living in Iran. When Hosseini was in the third
grade, he taught Khan to read and write. Though his relationship with Hossein
Khan was brief and rather formal, Hosseini always remembered the fondness that
developed between them - a relationship that is reflected in his first novel,
The Kite Runner (2003).
He is married to Roya and has two children (a boy and
a girl, Haris and Farah). In 2006, Hosseini was named a goodwill envoy to the UNHCR,
The United Nations Refugee Agency.
A Thousand Splendid Suns, was published
in May 2007.
This biography was last updated on 06/02/2007.
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