The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
We never see Amir's mother in the novel, but nonetheless she exerts an influence. Baba perhaps blames Amir for her sudden death (she dies giving birth to Amir). In a way, she's the wedge between Baba and Amir. As Baba pushes Amir more and more toward "manly" activities like soccer and kite-flying, Amir resists by reading his mother's poetry books. She also has books on the Hazara people, which suggests that she, like Rahim Khan, has some of the most forward-thinking and compassionate views on ethnicity in the novel. It's odd how Amir's mother "feminizes" him even though she's almost completely absent. In fact, we have to disagree with Amir when he later says "I had been raised by men; I hadn't grown up around women" (13.97). Like Rahim Khan, who also encourages Amir's writing, Amir's mother has been there all along with him.