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Karan Mahajan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Family Planning (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Association of Small Bombs (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists 3(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Amongst the few Indian origin writers who have been able to make name for himself there is no doubt that Karan Mahajan is somebody who has already left strong impressions behind. He was born in Connecticut (Stanford). He grew up I India, New Delhi and he studied Economics and English at Stanford University. He is now living in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He is 32 years old having been born in the year 1984. He has worked in various capacities though writing on economics and fiction continues to be his forte and passion. He has worked in San Francisco as an editor and also has a few stints as consultant on urban and economic planning issues with the New York local government. He also has worked as a researcher in Bangalore. He has had a natural flair for writing fictions which revolved around the economy and over the years he has written quite a few such books. The fact that his writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker Online and other such prestigious platforms certainly proves his credentials and reputation as an interesting and highly captivating writer. The Paris Review Daily and Bookforum have also quite a few positive things to say about him and his writings.

His Writings Are Available Across the Board

It would be pertinent to mention here that though he has penned just two books, The Association of Small Bombs and Family Planning he has been quite active when it comes to writing regularly on various newspapers, magazines and other such platforms. He has been quite generous in his writing across various print media both in the USA and India. Almost each of these writings has earned appreciation and kudos across the board and this certainly is an endorsement of his writing skills and his knowledge across a wide spectrum of subjects. We will try and have a look at the two novels written by him.

The Association Of Small Bombs

The Association of Small Bombs is the first novel penned by Karan Mahajan and revolves around two young school lads Nakul Khurana and Tushar. Their lives are quite normal till they decide to pick up the family television from the mechanics shop. The television was given for repair to their common friend Mansoor Ahmed. Disaster strikes when they collect the repaired TV set from Mansoor Ahmed. To their horror s small bomb inside the TV goes off and this is one among the many bombs which are set to go off at regular intervals. The blast kills the both the Khurana brothers and Mansoor suffers injuries. However he is devastated and the psychological and physical scar that it leaves behind is quite overwhelming for Mansoor.

Mansoor comes back to India after completing his higher studies in USA. However, things continue to be mysterious for him as he befriends Ayub who is charismatic but his life is also woven in a web of mystery. Ayub has his own belief systems and is very convinced about it. However, his beliefs and convictions are not to the liking of Mansoor. Further he also gets to befriend another guy by the name Shockie and to his horror he discovers that he is a bomb maker who has given up his life and career, presumably for the sake of his motherland.

The novel weaves through a number of twists and turns and it certainly a brilliant portrayal of terror. It shows the life and sufferings of those who are victims of terror and also the perpetrators of such terror activities. The novel is not straitjacketed and at times it is provocative and highly dynamic. It might ruffle the feathers of many who have extreme views and beliefs on terrorism, extremism and other such extra-constitutional methods. It certainly is a wonderful book.

Family Planning

This is the second novel of Karan and it too has won numerous accolades and praises because of the story line and the manner in which it has been written. It is a story which revolves around the life of Mr. Rakesh Ahuja, who is a Minister in New Delhi. Apart from having to handle the responsibilities, stresses, strains, pulls and pushes as a minister, he also has his own share of personal problems. He is the father of thirteen children and the fourteenth is on the way. It is a much bigger than a football team, substitutes included. All the thirteen children are unique in their own ways and means and bringing them up, even as a reasonably well-off minister is difficult to say the least. Added to this is the fact that his family members are all pulling the family in their own direction. You have his wife who lives in her own world. For now she is grieving over the death of her favorite TV actor. Then you have one of the thirteen sons who is a teenager. He has very strong opinions and beliefs about family planning and this certainly is a point of friction between him and his father.

As though the above is not enough, there are some well guarded secrets both personal and political which if exposed could push the entire Ahuja family into deep trouble and perhaps even into oblivion. As the son and father duo move their own ways to grind their own axes, the story goes through a number of twists and turns. It not only gives a great insight into the ways of life of Ahuja but also lets viewers to have some information about the way in which life moves on in New Delhi. While everything might look comfortable and great from the outside, beneath the calm surface there are quite a few sleazy and not-so-good things happening. It certainly is unputdownable as the novel races through the corridors of power at a rapid pace.


At the end of the day there is there is hardly any doubt that these two novels could be the launching pad for Karan. Being just 32 years of age, he has quite a lot of writing life left of him. It is likely that we will see more such works of brilliance from the pen of Karan.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karan Mahajan

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