Few Afghani writers were able to break into the American pop culture market like Kabul-born doctor-turned-author Khaled Hosseini, whose post-9/11 2003 book The Kite Runner, about guilt, forgiveness, war, the immigrant experience and a childhood love of flying kites, was turned into 2007's movie of the same, name directed by Golden Globe-nominated Marc Forster, and a play, which ran at the San Jose Repertory Theater. Khaled, who lives in Northern California and is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, followed up his debut novel with A Thousand Splendid Suns, the basis of another upcoming movie produced by Scott Rudin. As part of the start of UCLA Live's new season, Hosseini will be interviewed by Firoozeh Dumas, whose 2004 Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America also tapped into the adopted-homeland experience. Dumas dispensed with the politics, instead focusing on the funny anecdotes of her large family and their love of all things US of A, including game shows and Disneyland, proving that, yes, the American dream was and still is worth pursuing.
Wed., Sept. 30, 8 p.m., 2009