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Barnes & Noble interview with Khaled Hosseini

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Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. At the age of 11, he moved to Paris with his family as a result of his father's diplomatic posting to the French capital by the Afghan Foreign Service. Four years later, unable to return home because of the Soviet invasion, the Hosseini family was granted political asylum in the United States and moved to San Jose, California, where the future author pursued his high school education. He subsequently enrolled in Santa Clara University, earning a Biology degree before attending the University of California at San Diego's School of Medicine. He spent seven years as a practicing internist before the publication of his first novel, in 2003.

A phenomenal bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, was adapted for the screen in 2007; that year also saw the appearance of Hosseini's acclaimed second novel, With the latter book's first paperback publication imminent, I spoke with Hosseini by telephone at the end of October. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation. -- James Mustich

James Mustich: Could we talk a bit about the formation of your literary sensibility? In other interviews, you've referred to the strong Afghan tradition of oral storytelling. What kind of role did that tradition play in shaping your own sense of telling stories?


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