Top 101 Khaled Hosseini Quotes of 2019

“Qualities you need to get through medical school and residency: Discipline. Patience. Perseverance. A willingness to forgo sleep. A penchant for sadomasochism. Ability to weather crises of faith and self-confidence. Accept exhaustion as fact of life. Addiction to caffeine a definite plus. Unfailing optimism that the end is in sight.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Life just doesn’t care about our aspirations, or sadness. It’s often random, and it’s often stupid and it’s often completely unexpected, and the closures and the epiphanies and revelations we end up receiving from life, begrudgingly, rarely turn out to be the ones we thought.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I’m a pretty uncomplicated person. I live a very simple life with my family and I enjoy very ordinary things.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Everyone is an ocean inside. Every individual walking the street. Everyone is a universe of thoughts, and insights, and feelings. But every person is crippled in his or her own way by our inability to truly present ourselves to the world.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I spent a lot of winters in my childhood flying kites with my brother, with my cousins, with friends in the neighborhood. It’s what we did in the winter. Schools close down. There was not much to do.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My memories of Kabul are vastly different than the way it is when I go there now. My memories are of the final years before everything changed. When I grew up in Kabul, it couldn’t be mistaken for Beirut or Tehran, as it was still in a country that’s essentially religious and conservative, but it was suprisingly progressive and liberal.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“A doctor in a hospital told me that when the mujaheddin were fighting in the early Nineties, he often performed amputations and Caesarean sections without anesthesia because there were no supplies.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Nothing happens in a vacuum in life: every action has a series of consequences, and sometimes it takes a long time to fully understand the consequences of our actions.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I hate resting. I feel restless. My preference is to be working.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The Taliban’s acts of cultural vandalism – the most infamous being the destruction of the giant Bamiyan Buddhas – had a devastating effect on Afghan culture and the artistic scene. The Taliban burned countless films, VCRs, music tapes, books, and paintings. They jailed filmmakers, musicians, painters, and sculptors.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I hear from non-Afghan immigrants – Africans, Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs in France – all the time. These people have had to redefine their lives, which is what my family went through when we came to the U.S. in 1980.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Too often, stories about Afghanistan center around the various wars, the opium trade, the war on terrorism. Precious little is said about the Afghan people themselves – their culture, their traditions, how they lived in their country and how they manage abroad as exiles.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“People find meaning and redemption in the most unusual human connections.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Write the story you need to tell and want to read. It’s impossible to know what others want, so don’t waste time trying to guess.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Syria’s neighboring countries cannot and should not carry the cost of caring for refugees on their own. The international community must share the burden with them by providing economic aid, investing in development in those countries, and opening their own borders to desperate Syrian families looking for protection.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen – it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“One of the things novels should do is shine a light on those parts of us that are common, the fibres that connect all of us. They should convey the sense that we’re all connected, coming from the same tree, sharing common roots.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“In my 20s, life seemed endless. At 49, I’ve had a chance to see how dark life can be, and I am far more aware of the constraints of time than when I wrote ‘The Kite Runner.’ I realise there is only a limited number of things I can do.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The experience of writing ‘The Kite Runner’ is one I will always think back on with fondness. There is an energy, a romance in writing the first novel that can never be duplicated again.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I remember reading ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ in high school in 1983. My family had immigrated to the U.S. three years before, and I had spent the better part of the first two years learning English. John Steinbeck’s book was the first book I read in English where I had an ‘Aha!’ moment, namely in the famed turtle chapter.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“American high school culture was impenetrable to me, and very cliquey: you had the Hispanics, the African Americans, the surfer guys and the goths and the immigrants. The jocks and the surfers got the girls. By the time I’d got to grips with it, I’d graduated.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My books are about ordinary people, like you, me, people on the street, people who really have an expectation of reasonable happiness in life, want their life to have a sense of security and predictability, who want to belong to something bigger than them, who want love and affection in their life, who want a good future for the children.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I’m glad I wrote them when I did because I think if I were to write my first novel now, it would be a different book, and it may not be the book that everybody wants to read. But if I were given a red pen now, and I went back… I’d take that thing apart.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I was told bedtime stories by my father or my grandmother. Books, I mostly read on my own in bed.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Afghanistan is doomed if women are barred once again from public life.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Family is so central to Afghan life that all Afghan stories are family stories. Family is something I simply can’t resist because all the great themes of human life – duty, grief, sacrifice, love, envy – you find all those things within families.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The strange dilemma of the ‘ethnic-fiction’ writer is that you are supposed to carry a banner for your homeland, be a voice for it, and educate the rest of the world about it, but I think that’s far too onerous a burden for any writer to bear.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Kabul was very popular with the hippies in the Sixties and Seventies. It was very quiet and peaceful.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“There’s no excuse for the macro corruption, but Afghanistan was always an informal society with a weak central government.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Reading is an active, imaginative act; it takes work.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Economic chasm between people is something that is of interest to me. And something that I used to write about even as a child. It’s something I’ve revisited a few times in my writings.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Afghan people are just so tired of war.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“When I went to Kabul – weeks after I finished ‘The Kite Runner’ – I met a lot of people from all walks of life: men, women, children, people from ministries, hotel doormen, shopkeepers. And I learned from them what daily life was like when the rockets were flying overhead.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The deal is such that when I begin writing something, I open a door, and those characters come in, and then they won’t leave, and so I live with them every day, all day. They are there with me when I’m driving my kids to school, when I’m standing in line at the grocery store.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I have this almost pathological fear of boring the reader.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I – and, I suspect, millions of Americans like me, Republicans and Democrats alike – couldn’t care less about Obama’s middle name or the ridiculous six-degrees-of-separation game that is the William Ayers non-issue.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I have a particular disdain for Islamic extremism, and of course, in both ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ that’s obvious.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I read actual physical books and have thus far avoided the electronic lure.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I think that to fully appreciate baseball, it helps to have been born in the U.S.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I give novels as gifts, and there is nothing I like to receive more as a gift.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I don’t listen to music when I write – I find it distracting.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I entered the literary world, really, from outside. My entire background has been in sciences; I was a biology major in college, then went to medical school. I’ve never had any formal training in writing.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“There isn’t, even now, a great tradition of novel-writing in Afghanistan. Most of the literature is in the form of poetry.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I’ve been told, and I think I recognize it, that there’s a cinematic quality to my writing, with a sense of image and place and scene – and, some would say, my tendency to finish my books the way Hollywood finishes its films.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“In Afghan society, parents play a central role in the lives of their children; the parent-child relationship is fundamental to who you are and what you become and how you perceive yourself, and it is laden with contradictions, with tension, with anger, with love, with loathing, with angst.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“When I go to Afghanistan, I realize I’ve been spared, due to a random genetic lottery, by being born to people who had the means to get out. Every time I go to Afghanistan I am haunted by that.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Literary fiction is kept alive by women. Women read more fiction, period.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Whatever the readers feel when they’re reading my books, I feel it tenfold when I’m writing it.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual. You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody, an uncle to somebody. You are part of something bigger than yourself.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Afghanistan is a rural nation, where 85 percent of people live in the countryside. And out there it’s very, very conservative, very tribal – almost medieval.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I think the emancipation of women in Afghanistan has to come from inside, through Afghans themselves, gradually, over time.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“For a novelist, it’s kind of an onerous burden to represent an entire culture.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I grew up in a society with a very ancient and strong oral storytelling tradition. I was told stories, as a child, by my grandmother, and my father as well.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I lay no claim, it should be clear, to being a historian. So in my books, the intimate and personal have been intertwined inextricably with the broad and historical.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My books are love stories at core, really. But I am interested in manifestations of love beyond the traditional romantic notion. In fact, I seem not particularly inclined to write romantic love as a narrative motive or as an easy source of happiness for my characters.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“It’s a very nice kind of quasi-fame being a writer, because you remain largely anonymous and you can have a private life, which I really cherish. I don’t like to be in the public light all that much. I don’t crave the whole fame thing at all.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I will say that there is an inordinate amount of medicine in my novels, especially the first one. There are a lot of medical things that happen. A hip fracture, three different kinds of lung cancer, pneumonia, blood poisoning, and so on.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Ultimately, my books are not about the politics, although the toil and the struggle and the wars in Afghanistan have a significant impact on the lives of my characters.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I was good at being a doctor; my patients liked me. At times people trust you with things they wouldn’t tell their spouses. It was a real privilege.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“In many parts of the world, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. But I think we need women to solve the problems that men create.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“There’s nothing easy about writing. It’s always difficult. It’s always a struggle.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My wife is my in-home editor and reads everything I write.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The only two places where I can read for long stretches are in airplanes and in bed at nighttime.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I don’t think she is underappreciated, certainly not among writers, but Alice Munro is the classic underappreciated writer among readers. It is almost a cliche now to wonder why this living legend is not more widely read.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Usually in films, when Muslims pray, it’s either before or after they’ve blown something up.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“A Western-style democracy in Afghanistan is a dream. I don’t see that as a reality anytime soon. But I think some form of representative political process is not that far-fetched.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“For me as a writer, the story has always taken precedence over everything else. I have never sat down to write with broad, sweeping ideas in mind, and certainly never with a specific agenda.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The difficulty of writing a second novel is directly proportional to how successful the first novel was, it seems.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I am always revolted when Islamic leaders, from Afghanistan or elsewhere, deny the very existence of female oppression, avoid the issue by pointing to examples of what they view as Western mistreatment of women, or even worse, justify the oppression of women on the basis of notions derived from Sharia law.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“All stories I write are compulsive. Anything I’ve ever written was because I don’t have a choice. I write stories because I can’t wait to tell it, I can’t wait to see how it ends.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The bewildering success of my books continues to surprise me.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I find myself drawn to that period where children are about to leave childhood behind. When you’re 12 years old, you still have one foot in childhood; the other is poised to enter a completely new stage of life. Your innocent understanding of the world moves towards something messier and more complicated, and once it does you can never go back.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I don’t outline at all; I don’t find it useful, and I don’t like the way it boxes me in. I like the element of surprise and spontaneity, of letting the story find its own way.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Writing for me is largely about rewriting.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I have met so many people who say they’ve got a book in them, but they’ve never written a word. To be a writer – this may seem trite, I realize – you have to actually write.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“To me, families are puzzles that take a lifetime to work out – or not, as often is the case – and I like to explore how people within them try to connect, be it through love, duty, or circumstance.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Afghan women, as a group, I think their suffering has been equaled by very few other groups in recent world history.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I have met so many people who say they’ve got a book in them, but they’ve never written a word.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“You have to write every day, and you have to write whether you feel like it or not.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Read the kinds of things you want to write; read the kinds of things you would never write. Learn something from every writer you read.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I’m so fascinated by how people destroy each other and love each other.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I do live with the very real possibility that we don’t have endless stories to tell.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I felt on the periphery of high school culture; one of those invisible creatures that walk the campus. I think it was a lot worse for my parents.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“You have to be able to interact with people whose politics you disagree with.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I landed in Kabul the day before Shock and Awe in Iraq, and you could all but hear the collective groan.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“The jury is out as to whether the Afghans are up to the task of protecting their people.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I grew up around a lot of Rumi, Hafez and Omar Khayyam books. My parents in Kabul had all the volumes around the house.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“No one ever really read to me as a child.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Obama’s middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah, too? Do McCain and Palin think there’s something wrong with my name?”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I never thought what I wrote was good enough to be published. I thought of myself as completely detached from that constellation of real writers. It was completely for myself.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“You don’t need a cheerleader. That’s the worst thing that can happen to you.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My parents were reasonably affluent in Kabul. In the States, we were on welfare. My mom became a waitress, and my dad became a driving instructor. That part of the American immigrant experience applies to people of any nationality.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“Everything for me starts very small and snowballs. So I rarely start with the grand idea and find a place for it and narrow down. It’s, really, just start small, and as I’m writing it, I begin to see – sometimes to my own surprise – what’s unfolding and what’s blooming.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I’ve learned things about the craft of writing and about structuring a book and about character development and so on that I’ve just learned on the fly.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My books never go where I think they’re going.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“You must not believe your own PR; it would be grotesque.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I would like people to have an appreciation for what happened to women under the Taliban, as in ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns.’ I hope they get a sense of how connected we all are.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“My freshman year in college, I got a job working security. This was a high-tech building in Santa Clara, engineers coming in and out all the time.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I don’t remember how I picked up ‘Different Seasons,’ but it was a book I read on a grave shift. I was absolutely floored by it; ‘The Body,’ a story about kids who go searching for a corpse in the woods, impacted me especially.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I find myself drawn to that period where children are about to leave childhood behind. When you’re 12 years old, you still have one foot in childhood; the other is poised to enter a completely new stage of life.”

― Khaled Hosseini

“I’m fascinated by the way early experiences haunt and revisit you, remain present in your life for decades and decades – they can even shape who you ultimately become.”

― Khaled Hosseini

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