ASPEN, Colo.—With mounting passion, conviction and at times humor, famed Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini closed out the Aspen Summer Words literary festival with his thoughts on recent developments in his native country and its future direction.
Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” was being interviewed by Firoozeh Dumas (the Iranian-American author of “Funny in Farsi”) at the Thursday afternoon Aspen Writers’ Foundation event. Their conversation, appropriately titled “Backstory,” touched on the creative process of writing books, their influences, perceptions and misperceptions of their countries and cultures, the Greg Mortenson scandal and current affairs.
Hosseini, whose eponymous foundation provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, has mixed feelings about President Obama’s recent announcement about drawing down American troops from Afghanistan.
“I am a hopeful person, but I have to admit it’s a period of anxiety for Afghans,” he said. “The primary job of a state is to protect its citizens, but is the nation at that point?”