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Karan Mahajan (April 24, 1984) is an Indian-American novelist, essayist, and critic.[1] His second novel, The Association of Small Bombs, was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction.[2] He has contributed writing to The Believer,[3] The Daily Beast,[4] the San Francisco Chronicle,[5] Granta,[6] and The New Yorker.[7] In 2017, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.[8]

Karan Mahajan
Mahajan at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Mahajan at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Born (1984-04-24) 24 April 1984 (age 35)
Stamford, Connecticut
Occupationnovelist, essayist
NationalityUnited States
SubjectCriticism, Fiction


Mahajan was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and grew up in New Delhi, India.[9] He studied English and Economics at Stanford University, before receiving an MFA in fiction from the Michener Center for Writers. In addition to his writing, he has worked as an editor in San Francisco, a consultant on economic and urban planning in New York City, and a researcher in Bangalore. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Family PlanningEdit

Mahajan's first novel, Family Planning, was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "Brave, breakneck, and amusing"';[10] in The Seattle Times as "Pleasurably crazed";[11] and in the Washington Post as "Genuinely funny" and "Profound".[12] Author Suketu Mehta described it as "The truest portrait of modern New Delhi I've read, and the funniest book of the year",[13] and novelist Jay McInerney called it "one of the best and funniest first novels I've read in years."[14]

Family Planning was published by the Harper Perennial imprint of HarperCollins, and released in the US in 2008 and the UK in 2009, with translations forthcoming in India, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, and Korea.

The Association of Small BombsEdit

Mahajan's second novel, The Association of Small Bombs, about the bombing of a Delhi market, was released to widespread acclaim in 2016, with laudatory reviews appearing in The New Yorker[15], The New York Times Book Review,[16] and The Washington Post. [17] The judges of the National Book Award for Fiction described the novel as an "epic tableau drawn by the instruments of empathy, an illuminating human expedition from India to America and back, a story that burns straight through you—incandescent, absorbing, engrossing—a novel of hope and despair, love and rage, today and tomorrow.[18]" The New York Times named the novel one of its "10 Best Books of 2016."




  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "The 2016 National Book Awards Finalists". The New Yorker. 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  3. ^ Mahajan, Karan (February 1, 2008). "'Suketu Mehta'". The Believer. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  4. ^ Mahajan, Karan (March 27, 2010). "'Peering into Kashmir's Turmoil'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  5. ^ Mahajan, Karan (March 11, 2008). "Animal's People' toxically twisted'". The Believer. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  6. ^ Mahajan, Karan (December 1, 2009). "'Wonder Why'". Granta. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  7. ^ Mahajan, Karan (October 21, 2015). "'The Two Asian Americas'". The New Yorker. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Granta's list of the best young American novelists". The Guardian. 2017-04-26. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  9. ^ "karan-mahajan". karan-mahajan. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  10. ^ Frank, Joan (December 7, 2008). "'Family Planning,' by Karan Mahajan". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  11. ^ Upchurch, Michael (January 11, 2009). "See the world — by book Three new novels — "The World a Moment Later" (from Israel), "New Lives" (Germany) and "Family Planning" (India) — offer a vicarious form of travel into the very souls of nations". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  12. ^ Mahajan, Karan (December 21, 2008). "'Young and Restless'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  13. ^ Suketu, Mehta (January 24, 2009). "'Suketu Mehta Book Pick'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  14. ^ McInerney, Jay (November 18, 2008). "'Jay McInerney Book Pick'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  15. ^ "An Intimate Novel of a Terror Attack". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  16. ^ Maazel, Fiona (2016-03-15). "'The Association of Small Bombs,' by Karan Mahajan". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  17. ^ Anderson, Patrick; Anderson, Patrick (2016-03-15). "'The Association of Small Bombs': A novel of terror based on the author's life". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  18. ^ "The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan, 2016 National Book Award Finalist, Fiction". Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  19. ^ "Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards - The 82nd Annual". Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards - The 82nd Annual. Retrieved 13 October 2017.

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