The Kite Runner has sold an astonishing 1.25 million copies in paperback, driven by word-of-mouth at a moment when sales of fiction are reportedly at a low. Scores of municipalities selected it for their Community Reads programs, citing its “universal” themes. Laura Bush called it “really great.” As the months have passed, America has only grown more passionate about its merits. So here’s the mystery: Why have Americans, who traditionally avoid foreign literature like the plague, made The Kite Runner into a cultural touchstone? What version of life abroad is it that seems so palatable and approachable to us? Why The Kite Runner and not any of the other books about Afghanistan that have recently hit the shelves?
Our second BookTalk event marks Human Rights Day by focusing on Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling debut novel, a poignant story of friendship, war and redemption.
On 19 November 2015, we’ll be hosting our first 2015/16 BookTalk event: a ‘dark listening’ of the ninth episode from the Season 1 of the BBC’s forthcoming radio adaptation of Émile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart novel series. Find out more here!
The second of our relaunched BookTalk events took place on 9 July 2015, and focused on JM Coetzee’s Booker-prize winning novel, Disgrace (1999), set in post-apartheid South Africa.
Cardiff BookTalk—the book group with a difference—returned on 30 April 2015, with scholars discussing the key themes of Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic classic, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886). Click here to find out more about the event!