The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday August 12th

Best-selling author Khaled Hosseini comes to Chapel Hill


“I think all the grand themes of life, of being human, can be found within family stories — love, grief, conflict, duty, sacrifice,” he said. “And yet, they play out differently from family to family, as each has its own unique makeup, dynamics, and volatile antagonisms, grounded as they may be in affection.”

Hosseini, the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” will be making his appearance at Chapel Hill High School’s Hanes Theater on Tuesday in celebration of the paperback launch of his latest novel, “And the Mountains Echoed.”

Hosseini said there was no single moment of inspiration for this novel — he had been subconsciously thinking of the idea for a while before he started writing.

It was after a trip to Afghanistan in 2007 where Hosseini discovered the purpose of his newest novel.

“One of the most striking parts of that trip for me was learning from village elders the devastation that Afghanistan’s notoriously brutal winters visited upon impoverished villagers, routinely taking the lives of the young, the elderly, the sick and disabled,” he said.

The title of his newest work also plays an important role in the theme. He said the acts from those in Afghanistan echoes to lives all around the world.

“Just as a mountain would echo back a shout, the fateful acts committed before the mountains too emit and echo,” he said.

“They have a rippling effect expanding outward, touching lives farther and farther away.”

Flyleaf Books is hosting the reading along with a question-and-answer session with veteran interviewer and reviewer D.G. Martin, host of UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch.

“Something about this novel struck me,” he said. “There are at least three sub-stories in which people had to abandon each other, mostly having to leave children. How to deal with the idea of a horrible outcome in our own families had me scratching my head.”

Linnie Green, the marketing manager for Flyleaf , said Chapel Hill is the first stop of Hosseini’s paperback tour. She said the publisher can trust the area because there is a large fan base, and many of his books have been sold here.

“He is masterful at creating empathetic and well-drawn characters that relate to people very different than you,” she said. “We want to be taken out of our daily lives as virtual characters who are relatable even if they’re from different cultures.”

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