The John Steinbeck Award

Khaled Hosseini

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath, the Steinbeck Award was presented to novelist and San José resident Khaled Hosseini, who has frequently cited Steinbeck’s great novel for its effect on him as a teenage immigrant from Afghanistan. In novels such as The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini created powerful portrayals of the disconnected and dispossessed, and in a September 10 conversation with KGO’s Pat Thurston onstage at the New Student Union Ballroom, Hosseini discussed his work as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency. Hosseini said, “If Steinbeck were alive, he’d be in his element in Afghanistan. In Syria, in Chad, and in Afghanistan, I suspect you’ll find a large number of Ma Joads.”