Historicity in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner: Encountering History in Contemporary Afghanistan

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of English, Tribhiwan University, Nepalgunj, Nepal

2 Department of English, Tribhiwan University, Nepalgunj, Nepal



This research paper is an investigation of Khaled Hosseini’s seminal fiction The Kite Runner from the perspective of New Historicist approach of reading a literary work. The concepts of history and discourse, recurrently employed by Foucault, Montrose, and Greenblatt, provide the theoretical background of the present research. The plot of the novel is devoted to presenting a vivid picture of the socio-cultural conditions of Afghanistan at the period of war and crisis. During the time, many wars and conflicts were imposed upon Afghanistan for the interests of foreign powers. Russia invaded Afghanistan, and it ended up in Taliban war, hunger, uncertainty in the subjects’ lives, and refugees question. Russian army had destroyed the village, school, and natural resources of Afghanistan while America indirectly dominated there to support the Taliban against Russia in the cold war period. The Kite Runner including historical facts about Afghanistan’s multi-layered conditions, let the readers face the true nature of war, terrorism, and Taliban in the country. Exploring the cultural crisis and ethnic conflict represented in the novel is conducted in a close association with the New Historicist’s concept of “textuality of history and historicity of text”.


This paper is based on the following MA thesis:

Pandit, Badri. Representation of Contemporary Afghan History in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. MA Thesis. Tribhuvan University, 2008.

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