Khaled Hosseini draws largest Novello attendance in history

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Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, attracted more than 2300 individuals last night for the Library’s Novello Festival of Reading. “Overpowered by the experience”….. “genuine”…..”very humbled speaker” were comments I heard last night and this morning from attendees. He helped many of us better understand the Afghanistan culture.

Were you there last night? If so, tell us what you thought. If you missed it, Mike Collins of “Charlotte Talks” on WFAE 90.7fm served as interviewer of Dr. Hosseini for Novello. The program was taped for broadcast on WFAE and will be aired on October 24th at 9am and again at 7pm on “Charlotte Talks.”

His books have remained favorites among readers since The Kite Runner was released in 2003 — and are consistently among the most popular books checked out at PLCMC. We were lucky to be among 1 of 5 U.S. public libraries where Dr.  Hosseini was appearing this year.

Booksigning after Novello program
Booksigning after Novello program

I loved hearing Dr. Hosseini say (very genuinely) how grateful he is for the public support he has received from his legions of fans and attributes much of his literary success due to the word of mouth recommendations from librarians and workers in indepdendent bookstores.

A few things that Dr. Hosseini shared with us last night:

  • The drive to create was always there, even as a small child. But, he didn’t think he would ever have the opportunity to earn a living by writing — therefore he initially went into medicine.
  • He read a lot as a child, especially condensed versions of classics. The first novel he ever read in its entirety was  The Exocist.  He was 10 years old! The funny thing was that he read this book (which inspired the horror movie of the same name) as a serialized feature in a women’s magazine.
  • Recommendations of other writers with Afghanistan roots: West of Kabul, East of New York: an Afghan American Story by Tamim Ansary; and The storyteller’s daughter  by Saira Shah.
Fans waiting for their books to be signed following Khaled Hosseini's program

Fans waiting for their books to be signed following Khaled Hosseini

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