The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel

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National Book Award Finalist
Winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award
Winner of the American Academy of Arts & Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award
Winner of the Bard Fiction Prize
One of the New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of the Year
One of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists

A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of the Year
PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist for Fiction
Shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 
Longlisted for the FT/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award

Named a Best Book of the Year by: Buzzfeed, Esquire, New York magazine, The Huffington Post, The GuardianThe AV Club, The FaderRedbookElectric Literature, Book Riot, Bustle, Good magazinePureWow, and PopSugar

“Wonderful. . . . Smart, devastating, unpredictable. . . . I suggest you go out and buy this one. Post haste.” —Fiona Maazel, The New York Times Book Review

“Brilliant.” Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“[Mahajan’s] eagerness to go at the bomb from every angle suggests a voracious approach to fiction-making.” The New Yorker

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.

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About the author

Karan Mahajan was born in 1984 and grew up in New Delhi, India. His first novel, Family Planning, was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and published in nine countries. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered, The New Yorker online, The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, and Bookforum. A graduate of Stanford University and the Michener Center for Writers, he lives in Austin, Texas.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews

4.1
26 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 22, 2016
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780698407060
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Nathan Hill
Winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's #1 Book of the Year
A Washington Post 2016 Notable Book
A Slate Top Ten Book

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The Nix is a mother-son psychodrama with ghosts and politics, but it’s also a tragicomedy about anger and sanctimony in America. . . .  Nathan Hill is a maestro.” —John Irving 

From the suburban Midwest to New York City to the 1968 riots that rocked Chicago and beyond, The Nix explores—with sharp humor and a fierce tenderness—the resilience of love and home, even in times of radical change.

It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson—college professor, stalled writer—has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her in decades, not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news, beguiles the internet, and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love, and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.
Annie Proulx
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Best Novel
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

From the Pulitzer Prize-­­winning author of The Shipping News and “Brokeback Mountain,” comes the New York Times bestselling epic about the demise of the world’s forests: “Barkskins is grand entertainment in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy…the crowning achievement of Annie Proulx’s distinguished career, but also perhaps the greatest environmental novel ever written” (San Francisco Chronicle).

In the late seventeenth century two young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters—barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a native woman and their descendants live trapped between two cultures. But Duquet runs away, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Annie Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years—their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand—the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation. Over and over, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse.

“A stunning, bracing, full-tilt ride through three hundred years of US and Canadian history…with the type of full-immersion plot that keeps you curled in your chair, reluctant to stop reading” (Elle), Barkskins showcases Proulx’s inimitable genius of creating characters who are so vivid that we follow them with fierce attention. “This is Proulx at the height of her powers as an irreplaceable American voice” (Entertainment Weekly, Grade A), and Barkskins “is an awesome monument of a book” (The Washington Post)—“the masterpiece she was meant to write” (The Boston Globe). As Anthony Doerr says, “This magnificent novel possesses the dark humor of The Shipping News and the social awareness of ‘Brokeback Mountain.’”
Adam Haslett
FINALIST for the PULITZER PRIZE
LONG-LISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
WINNER of the LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE
FINALIST for the NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
FINALIST for the KIRKUS PRIZE
LONG-LISTED for the ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL

TOP 10 NOVELS OF THE YEAR -- TIME, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC, Newsday

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Barnes & Noble, BookPage, BuzzFeed, Elle, Financial Times, Huffington Post, Kirkus, NPR, Refinery29, Seattle Times, Shelf Awareness, WBUR's On Point

"Haslett is one of the country's most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization" --Wall Street Journal

"Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone, Haslett has reached another level." --New York Times Book Review

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go to save the people we love the most?

When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings -- the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec -- struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.

Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, and yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.

With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
Karan Mahajan
Auf der Litrom-Bestenliste »Weltempfänger« Winter 2017/18 »Eins der 25 wichtigsten Bücher der Saison.« Spiegel-Online »Eins der 10 besten Bücher des Jahres.« New York Times Das Buch Die Khurana-Brüder schlendern zusammen mit ihrem Schulkameraden Mansoor Ahmed über einen gut besuchten Markt in Delhi. Ohne Vorwarnung kommt es zur Katastrophe: Neben ihnen explodiert eine Bombe – eine der vielen »kleinen« Bomben, die von der Welt kaum beachtet werden – und reißt die Khurana-Brüder in den Tod. Mansoor überlebt, doch der Bombenanschlag hinterlässt Spuren an Körper und Seele. Nach einem kurzen Aufenthalt an einer amerikanischen Universität kehrt Mansoor nach Delhi zurück, wo seine Suche nach einem Platz im Leben immer radikalere Formen annimmt ... Eng verwoben mit der Geschichte der Familien Khurana und Ahmed ist die des kaschmirischen Bombenbauers Shockie, der bereit ist, sein Leben für die Unabhängigkeit seines Vaterlands zu opfern. Karan Mahajans Roman ist außergewöhnlich komponiert: Er beginnt buchstäblich mit dem großen Knall – und zeichnet dann die vielen Druckwellen nach, die die Bombenexplosion bei allen Beteiligten ausgelöst hat: Welche Auswirkungen hat ein solcher Terrorakt auf die Betroffenen? Auf die Angehörigen? Auf die Gesellschaft? Wie werden Menschen zu Terroristen? Mahajan nähert sich differenziert, originell und nicht ohne Humor einigen der wichtigsten Fragen unserer Zeit. Warum es uns gefällt Karan Mahajan schreibt lebendig und originell über die Auswirkungen des Terrorismus auf Opfer und Täter. Einer der relevantesten literarischen Beiträge zu einem der wichtigsten Themen unserer Zeit. Pressestimmen Deutschland (Auswahl) »Schonungslos und voller Mitgefühl porträtiert Karan Mahajan einen Bombenanschlag in Delhi ... Der Autor zeichnet seine Bilder mit enormer sprachlicher Präzision und scharfsinnigem Witz.» Jana Volkmann, Buchkultur »Karan Mahajans Roman ist sprachgewaltig, aufwühlend und spannend ...« Jörg E. Mayer, Deutschlandfunk »Mahajan stellt einen Link her zwischen allen, die mit so einem Anschlag zu tun haben. Die Wirkung ist erstaunlich: Der Terror verliert Glanz und Gloria seines demonstrativen Nihilismus, er steht nackt da und stumm in seiner ganzen Erbärmlichkeit – sein Schrecken verpufft.« Ulrich Noller, WDR »Eine bestechende Erkundung über die Natur der Bombe ... « Claudia Kramatschek, NZZ »Karan Mahajan erzählt bewundernswert real von den Auswirkungen eines Anschlags aus Sicht von Opfern und Tätern.« NDR
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