The Kite Runner
Before reading this, I had only general understanding of what life was like for people in Afghanistan, especially during the time before our current war.
I read this book around the time it was released, 2004. This book let me see into the culture and society, from a child's eyes. It's a coming of age novel like none I've experienced before, or since.
i have a feeling of what it would be like to live there, along with what it would be like to severely betray a friend, something I would never have imagined that I'd even want to understand, but now I do, and I'm glad. This book has stayed with me since, I think because I see Afghans as more than people who live in a really messed up area of the world, now I see them as individuals, with pride and dignity, history, complexity, and I have at least an inkling of what those things are, and how life has changed in the last 30± years. It is the first book I looked for, when I discovered the Empathy Library, and I'm pleased that I have the privilege of adding it.