THE KITE RUNNER--AND AMERICAN FANTASY IN AFGHANISTAN
By Kevin Anthony Stoda, the Train Runner in Bavaria
I was riding on a series of trains through Bavaria during a light snowstorm today. As I rode--and then ran through--the central terminals in Nurnberg, Wurzburg, and Aschaffenburg on my way back to Wiesbaden this below zero day in history January 2010, I took time to read through Khaled Hosseini's THE KITE RUNNER, set primarily in pre-9-11 Afghanistan.
I started my journey westward from near the Czech Republic from one of the U.S. Military [Grafenwoehr] Bases in Bavaria and marveled at how the connections to Afghanistan were so evident around me in these particular hills of the Upper Palatinate. In just a few months, locally stationed American volunteers by the thousands are going to leave the snow country of Germany--a place of relative security globally--in order to expand American presence in snowy Afghanistan (and even into Pakistan in terms of indirect and direct U.S. military moneys, drones, and forces.)
I had picked up the book, THE KITE RUNNER, on base in Vilseck and was pleased that American soldiers and their families were familiarizing themselves with Hosseini's Afghanistan by introducing themselves to the complex history of 20th century Afghanistan. Like Hosseini many American soldiers and their families are writers and poets, too.
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