Karan Mahajan Wins The New York Public Library’s 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award for The Association of Small Bombs

Novelist Selected from a Group of Five Finalists at NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction Award Ceremony Last Evening

JUNE 2, 2017 – Last night, writer Karan Mahajan received The New York Public Library’s 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award for his dynamic second novel, The Association of Small Bombs. During the ceremony at the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman building, actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes, Reverie) read a touching passage from the book, which Mahajan told the audience he began writing during his time in the Library’s Frederick Lewis Allen Room. 

 “The New York Public Library has always been a part of the DNA of The Association of Small Bombs,” said Mahajan, thanking the institution for its foundational support. 

Along with Mahajan, this year’s finalists included Clare Beams (We Show What We Have Learned), Brit Bennett, (The Mothers), Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun) and Kaitlyn Greenidge (We Love You Charlie Freeman).  

The 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award was a star-studded evening, featuring Carla Gugino (Spy Kids, San Andres), Teyonah Parris (Dear White People, Survivor’s Remorse), Jussie Smollett (Empire, Alien) and Logan Browning (Dear White People), who performed mesmerizing passages from works of the other finalists. Actor and Young Lions Committee Co-Chair Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire, Jersey Boys), served as host for the event. Please click here to see select images from the event (Samantha Nandez/BFA.com).  

Founded in 2001, The Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or collection of short stories.  Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of award judges, including Susan Minot, Amelia Gray and Salvatore Scibona selected the winner of this year’s $10,000 prize. 

Past winners of the Young Lions Fiction Award include: Amelia Gray, Gutshot; Molly Antopol, The Unamericans; Paul Yoon,  Snow Hunters; Claire Vaye Watkins, Battleborn; Karen Russell, Swamplandia; Adam Levin, The Instructions; Wells Tower, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; Salvatore Scibona, The End; Ron Currie, Jr., God is Dead; Olga Grushin, The Dream Life of Sukhanov; Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation; Andrew Sean Greer, The Confessions of Max Tivoli; Monique Truong, Book of Salt; Anthony Doerr, The Shell Collector; Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated; Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days; and Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves.

The 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award ceremony was generously sponsored by 21st Century Fox and Book of the Month. 


Media Contact:

Nora Lyons / noralyons@nypl.org

About the Young Lions

The Young Lions is a membership group for New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s who are committed to supporting the work of the Library. Each season, members enjoy exclusive events that feature young writers and leaders in the arts, politics, business, law, and the media.  Through presenting dynamic events and contributing to the General Book Fund, the Young Lions are integral to the life of the Library and its future. Information about the Young Lions group, including events and forums, is available online at www.nypl.org/joinyl or 212-930-0885.

About The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award

The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award is a $10,000 prize awarded each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Established in 2001, this annual award recognizes the work of young authors and celebrates their accomplishments publicly, making a difference in their lives as they continue to build their careers. The Young Lions Fiction Award was founded by Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarland. The Award is made possible by an endowment created with generous gifts from Russell Abrams, Nina Collins, Hannah and Gavin McFarland, Ethan Hawke, Stephan Loewentheil, Rick Moody, Andrea Olshan and Jennifer Rudolph Walsh.

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at https://www.nypl.org/give.