What is the summary for Chapter 1 of The Kite Runner?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the opening chapter of the book, the narrator, Amir, provides the framework for the rest of the story.  It is December 2001, and Amir, who is an adult and has been living in the United States for the past two decades, has just received a phone call from Rahim Khan, an old family friend in Afghanistan.  After requesting that Amir return to his homeland to see him, Rahim Khan had closed the conversation by saying cryptically, "There is a way to be good again".  The old man's words cause Amir to remember people and a host of memories - "Hassan...Baba...Ali...Kabul... the life (he) had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything".

Amir goes for a walk along the edge of Golden Gate Park near his home in San Francisco.  His attention is caught by the sight of "a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky".  As he watches them dance high above the city, he suddently hears Hassan's voice in his head, whispering the words, "for you, a thousand times over".  In Amir's past there lurks the spectre of "unatoned sins".  What happened "on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975" while the twelve-year-old Amir crouched "behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek" was a determining factor in his life, and has "made (him) what (he is) today" (Chapter 1).