For The Millions, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho interviews novelist Karan Mahajan about the origins of his recently released novel The Association of Small Bombs. The two also discuss how moving from New Delhi to America shaped Mahajan’s writing:
It gave me a sense of freedom in my writing. I had a private relationship with India while living in these places. I didn’t talk about it with people. In Brooklyn, I had the external existence of a white hipster. In a way, it’s as if I’m an ascetic concentrating on the question of India. I’ve relied on deep-seated memories, research trips back home, and the huge experience I gained of the country when I traveled around cities and small towns interviewing entrepreneurs for a project I was doing in Bangalore from 2010 to 2012. If I hadn’t moved to the U.S., I wouldn’t have become a writer. I was too meek to break with the weight of cultural expectations. I could only have stuck to my path out of the full view of bourgeois Punjabi culture.