Out of the Margins

15 SEPTEMBER 2023 - 06 OCTOBER 2023
The Kite Runner 2. Annotations 1. Cover 3. Headshot
The Kite Runner
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45. Matthew Spangler

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner 
Adapted by Matthew Spangler 
Based on the novel by Khalid Hosseini 
Signed and annotated 
First American edition paperback 
22.8 x 15.2 cm 
New York: Riverhead Books, 2018

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£1,000 - 10,000

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Out of the Margins (45/55)

Notes


“I teach classes about how… refugees/asylum seekers are represented in the arts. That is why I wanted to adapt Khalid’s book”. 

The Kite Runner is Matthew Spangler’s stage adaptation of Afghan-American novelist Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 book (unrelated to the film of 2007), which first premiered at San Jose Repertory Theatre in 2009. Described by The Stage Magazine as “The best page-to-stage show since War Horse”, the play is a personal story of guilt and atonement with a historic portrayal of the upheavals in Afghanistan over a quarter of a century, told by Amir, an Afghan refugee living in California and looking back on a childhood incident that shaped his life. 

This is a generously annotated lot, with underlinings throughout and almost every double page spread receiving notes from the playwright. With so many productions now under the play’s belt (the tour dates are listed by the writer in the opening pages), Matthew is able to share insights into how the script evolved for each tour: sections that some productions wanted to take out, where it always got a laugh, a printed scene (Act 2, scene 3) which was taken out of the Broadway production but was included in the 2016/17 London production, which scenes were added later, and more. There are intriguing comments on how it has been performed and could be performed in the future, Matthew even disagreeing with some of his own printed recommendations on how to cast the multitude of characters! The descriptions of the companies warming up with the kite flying scenes are endearing and the musical explorations of the play feature heavily. 

Find out what line the playwright is referring to here: “What a mean thing to say. Baba will be softer in Act II. He changes more than any character”. The task of translating a novel into a play is no easy feat, and Matthew Spangler refers frequently to the power of Khalid Hosseini’s storytelling and characters, offering personal commentary on the characters, their relationships, and how he now thinks of them. These are some beautifully insightful annotations of a much-loved and performed play.

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