Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The association of small bombs, by Karan Mahajan

In 1996, three young friends set off on an errand to pick up a repaired television.  A small bomb is detonated in the Delhi market where the repair shop is located.  Only one child comes back.  Among the few dozen killed are the sons of Vikas and Deepa Khurana, who are Hindu.  Their Muslim neighbor’s son, Mansoor Ahmed, survives.  This compelling and timely novel follows the survivors, the Khuranas and the Ahmeds; the Kashmiri bombmaker; and the individual who set the bomb off, over the ensuing years as the detonation echoes through time.   It’s not a big event, or particularly newsworthy to any but those affected, but the author makes in emblematic of our times as he interweaves the stories of the victims and the perpetrators in the complex web of terrorism and its roots.  276 pp.

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