Afghanistan and multiculturalism in Khaled Hosseini's novels: study of place and diversity

Mary F. Agnello, Reese H. Todd, Bolanle Olaniran, Thomas A. Lucey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to frame Khaled Hosseini's novels, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, as literature to expand and enhance the American secondary curriculum with multicultural themes based on Afghanistan as a geographical and cultural place in a dynamic, diverse, and complex world more mediated than ever before by computer technologies. Design/methodology/approach The methodological approach to the study is a synthesis of geographic education grounded in the concept of place and diversity pedagogy. Findings Khaled Hosseini's web site has become the cyber place where hundreds of readers from around the world come to express their deep emotional reactions to The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. At the same time, that so many diverse international readers are responding favorably to Hosseini's novels, his works are being censored in classrooms in the USA. The research outlines geographical and cultural geographic features of Afghanistan – a place torn by military efforts of several nations. In the context of diversity pedagogy, the power of the novels portrays “difference,” yet humanity in need of understanding. Further attention is given to the censorship of ideas in American education, with Hosseini's books as one example. Originality/value This paper frames Hosseini's novels as placebased literature illustrating the homeland of Afghanistan now more accessible than ever before to international and US classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-111
Number of pages16
JournalMulticultural Education & Technology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 12 2009


  • Afghanistan
  • Cultural studies
  • Education
  • Literature
  • Multicultural societies


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