Indian novel on shortlist for National Book Awards and more

Plus: Sarah Jessica Parker has taken up an editorial-director role at Hogarth Press and Arundhati Roy will finally return next year with a follow-up to The God of Small Things.

The Association of Small Bombs, Karan Mahajan
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The National Book Awards are not be anything to do with this newspaper, but they are certainly a big deal in the United States, where they exist to celebrate the very best of American literature. So it is pleasing to see Karan Mahajan's The Association of Small Bombs on the shortlist announced a few days ago. A fascinating book set in the immediate aftermath of a New Delhi market-square bombing, this is an Indian family saga for the modern age. Mahajan, who grew up in New Delhi, will be up against Chris Bachelder, Paulette Jiles, Colson Whitehead – whose The Underground Railroad is the favourite – and Jacqueline Woodson.

Carrie on reading

In the week that the latest Bridget Jones book is published, it seems somehow apt that Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker has taken up an editorial-director role at Hogarth Press. The new imprint, which will bear her initials, SJP, hopes to publish up to four novels a year. Parker intends to find and edit the books herself. As to the content, a Sex and the City novelisation might be a bit obvious – she told The New York Times she wanted to find "great stories and global voices", citing National Book Awards shortlistee Colson Whitehead as the kind of author she is looking for.

Roy returns two decades on

Twenty years after Arundhati Roy became the first Indian citizen to win the Booker Prize, she will finally return next year with a follow-up to The God of Small Things. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is one of 2017's most eagerly awaited novels, not least by a new generation of Indian writers who were influenced by her brilliant story of Kerala twins. Not much is known about the plot yet but publishers Simon Prosser and Meru Gokhale promise "the writing is extraordinary … joyfully reminding us that words … can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging." No ­pressure, then.