Khaled Hosseini

1000ss-khAward Winning Afghan-born American novelist and physician Khaled Hosseini was born March 4, 1965. he has lived in the United States since he was fifteen years old. His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, with the paperback spending 101 weeks on the bestseller list In 2007, it was followed by A Thousand Splendid Suns which has spent 21 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperback fiction and 49 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction (#1 for 15 of those weeks). The two novels have sold more than 38 million copies internationally. Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1970 Hosseini and his family moved to Iran where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran. In 1973 Hosseini’s family returned to Kabul, and Hosseini’s youngest brother was born in July of that year.In 1976, when Hosseini was 11 years old, Hosseini’s father obtained a job in Paris, France, and moved the family there. They were unable to return to Afghanistan because of the Saur Revolution in which the PDPA communist party seized power through a bloody coup in April 1978. Instead, a year after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, in 1980 they sought political asylum in the United States and made their residence in San Jose, California.Hosseini graduated from Independence High School in San Jose in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988. The following year, he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1993. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1996.

Hosseini practiced medicine for over ten years, until a year and a half after the release of his first novel The Kite Runner which was released in 2003 and is the the story of a young boy, Amir, struggling to establish a closer rapport with his father and coping with memories of a haunting childhood event. The novel is set in Afghanistan, from the fall of the monarchy until the collapse of the Taliban regime, and in the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically in Fremont, California. Its many themes include ethnic tensions between the Hazara and the Pashtun in Afghanistan, and the immigrant experiences of Amir and his father in the United States. The novel was the number three best seller for 2005 in the United States, according to Nielsen BookScan. The Kite Runner was also produced as an audiobook read by the author. The Kite Runner has been adapted into a film of the same name released in December, 2007. Hosseini made a cameo appearance towards the end of the movie as a bystander when Amir buys a kite which he later flies with Sohrab.

Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was published in 2007, and is also set in Afghanistan. The story addresses many of the same issues as Hosseini’s first, but takes a more feminine perspective. It follows the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, whose lives become entwined. The story is set during Afghanistan’s tumultuous thirty-year transition from Soviet occupation to Taliban control and post-Taliban rebuilding. The novel was released by Riverhead Books on May 22, 2007, at the same time as the Simon & Schuster audiobook. Movie rights have been acquired by producer Scott Rudin and Columbia Pictures.

Hosseini’s third novel And the Mountains Echoed was released in, 2013. The novel opens in the year 1952. Saboor, an impoverished farmer from the fictional village of Shadbagh, decides to sell his three-year-old daughter Pari to a wealthy, childless couple in Kabul. The choice devastates his ten-year-old son, Abdullah, who raised Pari following their mother’s death in childbirth and the novel tells of the Intertwining destinies of each character. This novel deviates from Hosseini’s style in his first two works through his choice to avoid focusing on any one character. Instead the book is written similarly to a collection of short stories, with each of the nine chapters being told from the perspective of a different character.

Hosseini said, “I am forever drawn to family as a recurring central theme of my writing. My earlier novels were at heart tales of fatherhood and motherhood. My new novel is a multi-generational family story as well, this time revolving around brothers and sisters, and the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for each other. I am thrilled at the chance to share this book with my readers Hosseini is currently a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and has been working to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through the Khaled Hosseini Foundation. The concept for which was inspired by the trip to Afghanistan that Hosseini made in 2007 with UNHCR.

Chris Squire YES XYZ

Yes_Wonderous+StoriesChris Squire, bass player, vocalist and Founding member with the Progressive Rock bands YES, XYZ and Conspiracy was Born 4 March 1948. Squire grew up in central London, where, in 1964, he was suspended from school for having long hair. He played in a few bands in the 1960s, including the Selfs, the Syn, and Mabel Greer’s Toyshop. It was through that last band that he met Jon Anderson. The two bonded over Simon and Garfunkel’s music. They formed Yes in 1968 and released their debut album in 1969.

Yes went on to achieve worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans. Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Steve Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and Tony Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman was then replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra. Squire also joined the short-lived supergroup XYZ, (ex-Yes, Zeppelin) which featured Squire, Yes’ Alan White, and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. Sadly though Chris Squire, died 27 June 2013 at the age of 67, following his battle with Acute Erythroid Leukemia, with which he was diagnosed in 2015. He had been a member of the band’s current line-up alongside singer Jon Davison, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes and was the longest serving member of the band and will be sadly missed.

Roland “Boon” Gould ( level 42)

Roland Gould, English Guitarist with English pop rock and jazz-funk band Level 42 was Born MArch 4 1955. The band had a number of worldwide and UK hits during the 1980s and 1990s & gained fame for their high-calibre musicianship—in particular that of Mark King, whose percussive slap-bass guitar technique provided the driving groove of many of the band’s hits. The band are also known for the combination of King’s lead vocals and keyboard player Mike Lindup’s falsetto backing vocals and were formed after Mark King and the Gould brothers (Phil and Roland) played together in various bands during their teenage years. Phil Gould went on to study at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he met keyboard player Mike Lindup in a percussion course. Both musicians found that they shared musical heroes: Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett and Jan Hammer. Boon Gould also playing bass guitar and saxophone and Lindup doubling on keyboards and drums. Mark King was primarily a drummer, but also played guitar. The developing band (at this point, entirely an instrumental act) took the name Level 42 and settled on a working line-up of King (bass guitar, percussion), Lindup (keyboards, percussion), Boon Gould (guitar, saxophone) and Phil Gould (drums).In 1981 they released their first single, “Love Games”, which became a Top 40 hit. then cut their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album, which was an immediate success throughout Europe. The band quickly established themselves as concert favourites, taking advantage of the high performance skills of all four members. Polydor capitalised on the band’s success by releasing a second album, The Early Tapes later in the same year.

This was a compilation of material and is also known by an alternate name, Strategy. In 1982 Level 42 released their third album The Pursuit of Accidents. This was a further development of the Level 42 formula, maintaining their instrumental jazz-funk skills and styling but also experimenting further with pop songs, singles from the album were “Weave Your Spell” and “The Chinese Way”. A fourth album, Standing in the Light, was released in 1983 It was less experimental and jazzy than previous releases & provided them with their first UK Top Ten hit The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up). The 1984 album True Colours veered stylistically between funk, power pop, mid-tempo rock and moody ballads & yielded the singles “The Chant Has Begun” and “Hot Water”.

During the same year, Mark King released his first solo album Influences on which he played the majority of the instruments (with a guest appearance by Aswad’s Drummie Zeb, and with Lindup guesting on additional keyboards).The next studio album, World Machine, was released in 1985 gaining positive reviews from critics. By this time, the band had moved on from their original pure jazz-funk sound towards a much more mainstream pop/R’n’B sound, with King’s bass and Lindup and Badarou’s chugging keyboards serving as templates for smart pop songs such as “Something About You” and “Leaving Me Now”. The “Lessons in Love” single arrived in early 1986—a song that would soon appear on 1987′s Running in the Family album. The song was a massive international hit and became the band’s biggest seller.Keeping up the momentum, the band played at the Prince’s Trust concert in July 1987, with Eric Clapton standing in on lead guitar for a performance of Running in the Family.

During 1987, both Phil Gould and Roland Gould left Level 42. The next album Staring at the Sun was released in 1988. Sadly During 1989, Alan Murphy contracted pneumonia, which was complicated by the fact that he was already suffering from AIDS. His decline was rapid, and he died on 19 October 1989. This was a huge shock to the band, who had not known of Murphy’s condition and who had grown so fond of him that they stated at the time that they “could not replace Alan.”Devastated, Level 42 took a year off to regroup and rethink. In 1990 they released their next album, Guaranteed which was well received by American music critics, who appreciated the group’s musicianship and regarded it as Level 42′s most musically sophisticated work to date. In early 1993, Gary Husband left Level 42 and in 1994 it was announced that Level 42 would be disbanding permanently following their concert commitments.

Having been a very successful live and studio band in the 1980s, Level 42′s commercial profile diminished during the early 1990s following a series of personnel changes and musical shifts. After disbanding in 1994, the band reformed in 2001. Their most successful single was “Lessons in Love”, which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, and number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, upon its release in 1986.