Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him - for he always helps Amir - but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption. Review `Hosseini's ability to reach the core of experiences of love and loss places him in the company of such fine chroniclers of the new America as Chang-rae Lee. The Kite Runner is a first novel of unusual generosity, honesty and compassion' * Independent * `The shattering first novel by Khaled Hosseini... a rich and soul-searching narrative ... a sharp, unforgettable taste of the trauma and tumult experienced by Afghanis as their country buckled' * Observer * `A devastating, masterful and painfully honest story ... it is a novel of great hidden intricacy and wisdom, like a timeless Eastern tale. It speaks the most harrowing truth about the power of evil' * Daily Telegraph * 'Unforgettable ... extraordinary. It is so powerful that for a long time after everything I read seemed bland' * Isabel Allende * About the Author Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to the United States in 1980. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, published in thirty-four countries. In 2006 he was named a US goodwill envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency. He lives in northern California.