'Kite Runner' author to speak at Purdue

August 6, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Khaled Hosseini, author of the best-selling and award-winning book "The Kite Runner," will deliver a public talk at 3 p.m. Aug. 22 at Purdue University's Elliott Hall of Music.

Hosseini's talk is presented by the Office of the Provost, Purdue University Libraries and the Purdue University Common Reading Program. The presentation has been made possible with additional support from Purdue Convocations; the Student Access, Transition, and Success Programs Department; and the School of Mechanical Engineering.

As a kickoff to the 2010 Common Read Program, Hosseini will discuss his books and his subsequent work in Afghanistan in an interview with Kevin McNamara, Purdue professor of agriculture and an adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education. McNamara also will moderate a question-and-answer session after Hosseini's talk.

Hosseini was born in Afghanistan in 1965. In 1980 his family sought and was granted political asylum in the United States, and moved to San Jose, Calif. Hosseini earned his medical degree in 1993 and, while practicing medicine, began writing his first novel in March 2001. 

"The Kite Runner" was published in 2003 and has since become an international bestseller. In 2006 he was named a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by the UN Refugee Agency. His second novel, "A Thousand Splendid Suns," was published in May 2007. He has been working to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan through The Khaled Foundation (www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org).

"The Kite Runner" will be given to each freshman or transfer student who enters the university this fall as part of the 2010-2011 Common Reading Program>

"Purdue's Common Reading Program not only encourages our students to read, it helps to build community," said Sharon Weiner, professor and W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy and co-chair of the Common Reading Selection and Coordination Committee. "This is critical to the success of first-year students. 'The Kite Runner' was selected for this year's book from recommendations made by students, faculty, and staff. It inspires greater understanding of cultures and relationships. Themes from ‘The Kite Runner' will be integrated through many of our courses and related activities this year."

One of the out-of-class activities includes using the book in the popular freshman orientation program Boiler Gold Rush. More than 5,300 students will participate in book discussions led by the 435 Boiler Gold Rush team leaders.

Boiler Gold Rush is a weeklong orientation program that takes place before the fall semester begins. The program addresses a wide range of academic, personal and social college transition needs. During the week, groups of 12-15 freshmen team up with a current Purdue student who answers their questions and helps them adjust to their new life on campus.

Hosseini 's talk is free to all Purdue students, faculty and staff with a current identification card. A limited number of general admission tickets will be available to the general public for $15 per ticket. General public tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Aug. 13 at all campus box offices or by phone at 765-494-3933.
Contact:  Abby Eddy, 765-494-5045, aeeddy@purdue.edu

Sources:  Abby Eddy (Purdue Convocations director of marketing) 765-494-5045, aeeddy@purdue.edu
                   Dr. Sharon Weiner (Professor and W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy) 765-496-3128, sweiner@purdue.edu