Khaled Hosseini is following in the footsteps of Steinbeck.
And dhe San Jose author of "The Kite Runner," the "city's most famous writer," is now mentioned in the same breath as a comparable author.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Hosseini -- who read "The Grapes of Wrath" as a teen in San Jose, following his family's escape from Soviet Union-occupied and war-torn Afghanistan -- will receive the John Steinbeck Award from San Jose State University Wednesday, on the 75th anniversary of the Depression novel's publication.
Hosseini was a medical doctor by trade before his writing career took off following the 2003 publication of "The Kite Runner," in which the 12-year old main character, Amir, also finds a home in San Jose.
The 49-year-old Hosseini lives in real life in San Jose with his wife Roya and their two children.
Like Steinbeck's, Hosseini's books have a "commitment to democratic values and belief in the dignity of the common man," as the award committee put it.