Waiting on Wednesday – The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers can showcase books that we are eagerly waiting for.

This week I want to discuss The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan.

Expected Publication: March 22nd 2016 by Viking

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For readers of Mohsin Hamid, Dave Eggers, Arundhati Roy, and Teju Cole, The Association of Small Bombs is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scope


When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb—one of the many “small” bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world—detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb. After a brief stint at university in America, Mansoor returns to Delhi, where his life becomes entangled with the mysterious and charismatic Ayub, a fearless young activist whose own allegiances and beliefs are more malleable than Mansoor could imagine. Woven among the story of the Khuranas and the Ahmeds is the gripping tale of Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb maker who has forsaken his own life for the independence of his homeland.


Karan Mahajan writes brilliantly about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators, proving himself to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation.

Why I’m Waiting

The promise of a complex narrative that explores the effects that a small bomb going off in a Delhi marketplace has on the families, victims, and the perpetrators themselves is the chief draw for me. The focus on the perpetrators/terrorists intrigues me in particular because I want to read difficult, controversial texts, and attempt to see through perspectives far beyond my comfort zone. Just recently, I read Saadia Faruqi’s short story collection, Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan, which was also  moving and nuanced representation of Pakistan’s people. I will be buying this book as soon as it releases. Stay tuned for my review!

UPDATE: I just learned that Karan Mahajan will be speaking and signing at my local independent book store, Book People. So I will get to meet him. I’m beyond excited!

What books are you waiting for this Wednesday?

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