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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2004

'Kite Runner' Discussion Forums Scheduled; Author To Visit Nov. 11-13

Those reading Khaled Hosseini's novel, "The Kite Runner," as part of the fourth annual reading program "One Community, One Book - Johnson County Reads" will have plenty of opportunities to meet other readers and share their reactions at any of the 10 community discussion forums scheduled throughout Johnson County from late September through early November. In addition, the author will visit Iowa City for a public lecture and discussion session on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Buchannan Auditorium, Pappajohn Business Building.

This countywide reading project is sponsored by The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) and a variety of community and university groups. It is open to all community members interested in broadening their understanding of human rights through reading. A planning committee chose "The Kite Runner" last spring, and the project runs from Sept. 19 to Nov. 13.

"The Kite Runner" takes readers from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. A story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, "The Kite Runner" describes the rich culture and beauty of a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal and the possibility of redemption. It also demonstrates the power of fathers over sons -- their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

Dorothy M. Paul, UICHR associate director for community affairs and coordinator of this project, said that the expansion of the project this year has exceeded expectations. For example, she says, 400 City High School students will read "The Kite Runner," and new discussion groups have formed at the Iowa City Alternative High School and in Waterloo, Iowa.

Two discussion forums were held during the summer months at the Iowa Medical Classification Center at Oakdale sponsored by Kirkwood Community College, and at the Carver College of Medicine sponsored by the UI Office of Student Affairs and Curriculum.

A schedule of the upcoming community forums, which are all free and open to the public, follows:

Sept. 22, 4 to 5:30 p.m.: International Programs, International Center Lounge; Facilitator: Teresa Mangum, 335-0323

Sept. 28, 3:30 p.m.: West High School Media Center; Facilitator: Elizabeth Azoff, 688-1050

Oct. 4, 3 p.m.: Oaknoll Retirement Residence, 701 Oaknoll Dr., 6th Floor Lounge; Facilitator: Sam Becker, 351-1720

Oct. 4, 7 p.m.: North Liberty Community Library Conference Room; Facilitator: Jennie Garner, 626-5731

Oct. 5, 7 p.m.: Waterloo Public Library Conference Room B; Facilitator: Tsehaynesh Abebe, 319-961-8733. Cosponsored by The Living Project, Waterloo, an organization focused on human rights and sustainable development issues.

Oct. 19, noon to 1 p.m.: Iowa City Public Library Intellectual Freedom Festival The Kite Runner Brown Bag Lunch, Meeting Room A. A panel presentation by Natasa Durovicova, UI International Writing Program staff; Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Books; Brooks Landon, UI professor and chair of English; Heather Shank, Iowa City Human Rights Coordinator; and Sabit Madaliev, an IWP writer from Uzbekistan; Facilitator: Andrea Clinkenbeard, 887-6044

Oct. 19, 7 p.m.: Coralville Public Library, E. Jean Schwab Auditorium, 1401 5th St.; Facilitator: Joyce Carman, 248-1850

Oct. 20, 2 to 4 p.m.: Iowa City Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St., Room G08; Facilitator: Joyce Carman. Cosponsored by the Iowa City Senior Center 356-5220

Nov. 1, 7 p.m.: Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A. Open to children and adults; Facilitator: Chivy Sok, 335-3857

Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m.: City High School Cafeteria; Facilitator: Randy Brown, 688-1040

Author Khaled Hosseini was born the son of a diplomat in Kabul, Afghanistan, and gained political asylum in the United States in 1980. He is currently a physician in northern California, and "The Kite Runner" is his first novel. His Nov. 11-13 visit to the UI and the Iowa City community is sponsored by the UI Year of the Arts and Humanities and Penguin Books, New York.

For additional information on these forums or to obtain free Readers' Guides and "Johnson County Reads The Kite Runner" buttons, contact Dorothy M. Paul, UICHR associate director for community affairs at 338-1230, Books as well as Kite Runner Discussion Kits are available from the Iowa City Public Library.

For details about the overall project, consult the UICHR web site where pertinent discussion notes and questions are posted.

"One Community, One Book - Johnson County Reads" began in 2001, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights, The UI International Writing Program and Prairie Lights Books. Each are sponsoring the project again this year together with the Coralville Public Library, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa Book LLC, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, the Iowa City Public Library, UI Charter Committee on Human Rights, UI International Programs and the University Book Store. Iowa City High School and West High School Library are also formal participants in the project.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Dorothy M. Paul, UICHR associate director for community affairs, 338-1230,