Denise Ajiri asked Khaled Hosseini:
In writing novels do you believe in pure imagination or do you think that at least the main core of a novel is based on one's experience? How is it in your novels? Are they all based on your or somebody that you know's experience?
Khaled Hosseini It is very difficult to write purely from an imaginary place. Sooner or later, pieces of you will seep into the story. I will give you the example of The Kite Runner. The story line and characters in The Kite Runner are fictional. However, there are autobiographical elements woven through the narrative. The descriptions of Kabul circa 1970’s, the social set up, the political milieu, are based on my own recollection and experiences. The kite fighting and the games Amir and Hassan play, their love of films, in particular westerns, come from my own experiences as well. Probably the passages most resembling my own life are the ones in the US, with Amir and Baba trying to build a new life. I too came to the U.S. as an immigrant and I recall vividly those first few years in California, the hard task of assimilating into a new culture. My father and I did work for a while at the flea market and there really were rows of Afghans we knew from Kabul. So the simple answer is that in the end, novels are hybrids, part autobiography, part imagination, with the line often blurring between the two.
More Answered Questions
Fatma Sajwani asked Khaled Hosseini:
Given that you lived a big part of your life away from Afghanistan, How did you learn about the pains and the experiences of Afghans? Don't you think maybe because you did not live those pains that you wrote about Afghanistan in a way different from how an Afghan who lived there would write? Regardless of your response I love your books....
Anushri Prabhu asked Khaled Hosseini: