Author Khaled Hosseini on How Art Can Change Perceptions

If you adore The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, then grab a cup of coffee (it’s a long video after all) and watch this interview with author Khaled Hosseini, which is part of the Harker Speaker Series. In the video the author discusses how art can shift people’s misconceptions about certain places—in this instance, Afghanistan.

The interview begins with Hosseini discussing And The Mountains Echoed, a novel about relationships within the family unit, especially between siblings. Like his other novels, And The Mountains Echoed is also set in Afghanistan, a country Hosseini still deeply connects with. He created the Khaled Hosseini Foundation for Humanitarian Aid after a 2007 trip to Afghanistan where he drove up north to cities that are now currently off-limits. He saw the difficulty many people from Iran and Pakistan were having trying to start over with little resources.

Hosseini admits it “took him by surprise” how vivid his memories of Afghanistan were when writing The Kite Runner. Although the book was set in the pre-Soviet era, he used his own experiences growing up in a semi-Westernized, middle class family as the basis for the story. He goes on to explain that there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions about the country and that not all of it is the rural, dusty place that we see on television. However, Hosseini points out that art can change perceptions, and after reading his book, fans of his work were able to look at the country with new eyes.

If you’re a fan of Khaled Hosseini, this is a must-see interview.

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