Like 'Kite Runner,' story based in Afghanistan

Producer Scott Rudin and Columbia Pictures have acquired the screen rights to “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” the new novel by Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner”).

Deal was for high six figures against seven figures.

Novel, which will be published by Riverhead Press in May, is about the intimate friendship of two Muslim women through 10 years of marriage to the same man. The book is set against the backdrop of the war in Afghanistan.

Hosseini’s first novel, “The Kite Runner,” caused an international sensation when it was published in 2003, leaping onto the New York Times bestseller list, where it has remained for more than 100 weeks. That book was the semi-autobiographical story of a young boy growing up in Afghanistan in the 1960s and his friendship with the son of his family’s servant.

The film version of “Kite Runner,” a DreamWorks/Paramount production directed by Marc Forster, is in post-production.

Rudin bought the book preemptively with his own coin from Hotchkiss & Associates and Elaine Koster, and quickly set it up at Sony.

Hosseini was born and raised in Afghanistan, but came to the U.S. in 1980 when his family received political asylum here. He is trained and practices as a physician.

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