Khaled Hosseini (1965 – )

Khaled Hosseini (born March 4, 1965) is an Afghan-American author and physician.

Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. 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, Iran, where his father worked for the Afghan embassy. In 1973 they returned to Kabul. In July 1973, on the night Hosseini's youngest brother was born, the Afghan king, Zahir Shah, was overthrown in a bloodless coup d'etat by the king's cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan.

In 1976, the Afghan Foreign Ministry once again relocated the Hosseini family, this time to Paris, France. In 1980, they were scheduled to return to Kabul, but by then Afghanistan had undergone a bloody communist coup and then the invasion of the Soviet army. Wary of the impact of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Hosseini's family sought and were granted political asylum in the United States, and in September 1980, they moved to San Jose, California. Because they had lost all of their property in Afghanistan, they lived on welfare and food stamps for a short while. 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 bachelor's degree in Biology in 1988. The following year, he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1993. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1996. He continues to practice medicine.


When Hosseini was a child, he read a great deal of Persian poetry, as well as Farsi translations of novels ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer series. Hosseini's memories of peaceful pre-Soviet era Afghanistan, as well as his personal experiences with Afghan Hazaras, led to the writing of his first novel, The Kite Runner. One Hazara man, named Hossein Khan, worked for the Hosseinis when they were living in Iran. When Hosseini was in third grade, he taught Khan to read and write. Though his relationship with Hossein Khan was brief and rather formal, Hosseini's fond memories of this relationship served as an inspiration for the relationship between Amir and Hassan in The Kite Runner.

Books by Khaled Hosseini