Nominated by:

Veria Central Public Library, Greece

Chicago Public Library, USA

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, USA

Hartford Public Library, USA

Ferguson Library, Stamford, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Vintage, UK

The Association of Small Bombs

Karan Mahajan      

2018 Longlist

When the Khurana boys and their friend Mansoor set out for one of Delhi’s markets, disaster strikes without warning. A ‘small’ bomb detonates, killing the brothers instantly. Mansoor is one of the few survivors.

From India to America, the lives of victims and bystanders, mothers and fathers, comrades and adversaries are changed forever. Even the young bomb maker cannot escape the heat of the blast.

About the author

Karan Mahajan grew up in New Delhi, India and lives in Austin, Texas. His first novel, Family Planning, was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and was published in nine countries. The Association of Small Bombs was a finalist for the National Book Award and was selected as one of the New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2016. His writing has appeared in many publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker online and The Believer.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments

A powerful and wonderful novel. A compelling story of tragedy about friends and relatives who lose loved ones at a terrorist attack. A timeless book on the effect of violence on human life.

Karan Mahajan’s literary novel is about how one event, a bomb explosion in a busy market in Delhi, can affect people throughout the rest of their lives. We nominated this book because of the timely subject matter and the insightful empathy demonstrated for all involved.

A terrorist bombing in New Delhi kills two young men and their grief stricken family struggles to recover. Mahan’s compassionate, empathetic narrative boldly imagines victims, survivors and killers in a compelling story ripped from contemporary headlines.

The Association of Small Bombs is simultaneously vast and minute. Mahajan’s deft writing makes glow the minutiae of lives. Distinct pieces he then layers and piles up until the mass spills, uncovering the overweening bent of human culture.

Bold, humanistic portrayal of tragedy – an incisive depiction of terrorism, terrorists and their victims.

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