Friday, November 25, 2011

Ansary on Hosseini

I recently finished listening to Tamim Ansary read his book West of Kabul, East of New York while driving back and forth to work.  I feel I have been given a wealth of ideas to complement my reading of The Kite Runner, which I will do with students in the next few weeks.  From the sheltered privacy of Afghan life to the philosophical stances dividing Muslims, form the pain of leaving family in a far country to the sense of not quite fitting in --these two books have much to say to one another.  Toward the end of his, a work of nonfiction, Ansary describes a meeting he attended along with Hosseini, who had probably already completed The Kite Runner.  I had to smile when he describes him as a highly energetic physician who wrote short stories in his spare time, "horror stories," (I'm paraphrasing here) "in the tradition of writers like Ambrose Bierce."