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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Cover

ISBN13: 9780393068009
ISBN10: 0393068005
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

This debut collection of interlinked short stories chronicles the clash of classes within contemporary Pakistan. Mueenuddin writes with a deliberate Chekhov-like sense of pace and fills each story with complex, well-drawn characters. A National Book Award finalist, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders marks the emergence of a wonderful new talent from South Asia.
Recommended by Shawn D., Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"In these stories, love...is not a vice, but it can be dangerous. It can ruin a powerful man's position in society or create in someone such an inner torment that the love affair is drained of all of its initial passion and excitement — usually after that love has been officially consummated by a marriage, locking the participants into their self-made prison. In Mueeenuddin's frequently haunting tales, love can also be a tool to aid the rise of inveterate manipulators — as most are, must be even, if they are to survive in this unforgiving world. But to Mueenuddin's credit, he does not attempt to communicate a moral in depicting these dangers, only outlining the perils inherent in giving one's self over to an emotion that could run afoul of a society that depends on decorum, reputation, and discretion." Jacob Silverman, Bookslut (read the entire Bookslut review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Advance Praise for In Other Rooms, Other Wonders:

"Astonishing . . . reveals a writer who seems to combine the intimate rural rootedness and gentle humour of R.K. Narayan with the literary sophistication and stylishness of Jhumpa Lahiri. . . . In Other Rooms, Other Wonders is quite unlike anything recently published on the Indian side of the border, and throws the gauntlet down to a new generation of Indian writers. For the first time in this part of Asia, there is serious competition out there."--William Dalrymple, Financial Times

"A stunning achievement. This superb collection ranges across a vast swath of contemporary Pakistan--from megacities to isolated villages, from feudal landlords to servant girls--and such is its narrative power that I couldn't stop turning the page. Daniyal Mueenuddin is a writer of enormous ambition, and he has the prodigious talent to match."--Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

"A blazingly good writer. He brings to vivid and compelling life a country and its people."--David Davidar, author of The Solitude of Emperors

"Daniyal Mueenuddin's Pakistanis are like Chekhov's Russians, so fully realized that we never wonder over what motivates them. They are living, breathing presences--sometimes brought so close that, I daresay, you hear the sounds of their breathing and the roll of gravel under their feet. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders brings us a new way of seeing the world, and it is one that we could not have anticipated."--Elizabeth Evans, author of Carter Clay

Review:

"In eight beautifully crafted, interconnected stories, Mueenuddin explores the cutthroat feudal society in which a rich Lahore landowner is entrenched. A complicated network of patronage undergirds the micro-society of servants, families and opportunists surrounding wealthy patron K.K. Harouni. In 'Nawabdin Electrician,' Harouni's indispensable electrician, Nawab, excels at his work and at home, raising 12 daughters and one son by virtue of his cunning and ingenuity — qualities that allow him to triumph over entrenched poverty and outlive a robber bent on stealing his livelihood. Women are especially vulnerable without the protection of family and marriage ties, as the protagonist of 'Saleema' learns: a maid in the Harouni mansion who cultivates a love affair with an older servant, Saleema is left with a baby and without recourse when he must honor his first family and renounce her. Similarly, the women who become lovers of powerful men, as in the title story and in 'Provide, Provide,' fall into disgrace and poverty with the death of their patrons. An elegant stylist with a light touch, Mueenuddin invites the reader to a richly human, wondrous experience." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Because of Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Rohinton Mistry, to mention just a few of the most prominent authors, American readers have long been able to enjoy one terrific Indian novel after another. But Daniyal Mueenuddin's "In Other Rooms, Other Wonders" is likely to be the first widely read book by a Pakistani writer. Mueenuddin spent his early childhood in Pakistan, then lived in the United States... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"A stunning achievement....Such is its narrative power that I couldn't stop turning the page." Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Review:

"Daniyal Mueenuddin takes us into a sumptuously created world, peopled with characters who are both irresistible and compellingly human. His stories unfold with the authenticity and resolute momentum of timeless classics." Manil Suri

Synopsis:

Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction: 'The rural rootedness and gentle humour of R.K. Narayan with the literary sophistication and stylishness of Jhumpa Lahiri."Financial Times

Synopsis:

Short-listed three times for the Booker Prize, Anita Desai explores time and transformation in these artful novellas

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Anita Desai ruminates on art and memory, illusion and disillusion, and the sharp divide between lifes expectations and its realities in three perfectly etched novellas. Set in India in the not-too-distant past, the stories dramas illuminate the ways in which Indian culture can nourish or suffocate. All are served up with Desais characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor, and sensitive writing.

Overwhelmed by their own lack of purpose, the men and women who populate these tales set out on unexpected journeys that present them with a fresh sense hope and opportunity. Like so many flies in a spiders web, however, they cannot escape their surroundingsas none of us can. An impeccable craftsman, Desai elegantly reveals our human frailties and the power of place.

Synopsis:

Passing from the mannered drawing rooms of Pakistan's cities to the harsh mud villages beyond, Daniyal Mueenuddin's linked stories describe the interwoven lives of an aging feudal landowner, his servants and managers, and his extended family, industrialists who have lost touch with the land. In the spirit of Joyce's Dubliners and Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches, these stories comprehensively illuminate a world, describing members of parliament and farm workers, Islamabad society girls and desperate servant women. A hard-driven politician at the height of his powers falls critically ill and seeks to perpetuate his legacy; a girl from a declining Lahori family becomes a wealthy relative's mistress, thinking there will be no cost; an electrician confronts a violent assailant in order to protect his most valuable possession; a maidservant who advances herself through sexual favors unexpectedly falls in love.

Together the stories in In Other Rooms, Other Wonders make up a vivid portrait of feudal Pakistan, describing the advantages and constraints of social station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change. Refined, sensuous, by turn humorous, elegiac, and tragic, Mueenuddin evokes the complexities of the Pakistani feudal order as it is undermined and transformed.

About the Author

Daniyal Mueenuddin attended Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. After working as a lawyer in New York City, he now manages a farm in Pakistan.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

writermala, November 3, 2009 (view all comments by writermala)
In Other Rooms, causes us to wonder.

This collection of short stories is the twenty first century version of stories by that famous writer of the Indian subcontinent - R.K. Narayan.

Muenuddin has created a cast of characters, and got into their skins, so well, that each is a living breathing person. The value system of the country is explained effortlessly, and rather than causing us to laugh derisively at what could be at best considered a corrupt anarchy, one laughs along.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393068009
Author:
Mueenuddin, Daniyal
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Desai, Anita
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Social classes
Subject:
Social conditions
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Pakistan Social conditions.
Subject:
Social classes - Pakistan
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090231
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Used Hardcover
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages W.W. Norton & Co. - English 9780393068009 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This debut collection of interlinked short stories chronicles the clash of classes within contemporary Pakistan. Mueenuddin writes with a deliberate Chekhov-like sense of pace and fills each story with complex, well-drawn characters. A National Book Award finalist, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders marks the emergence of a wonderful new talent from South Asia.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In eight beautifully crafted, interconnected stories, Mueenuddin explores the cutthroat feudal society in which a rich Lahore landowner is entrenched. A complicated network of patronage undergirds the micro-society of servants, families and opportunists surrounding wealthy patron K.K. Harouni. In 'Nawabdin Electrician,' Harouni's indispensable electrician, Nawab, excels at his work and at home, raising 12 daughters and one son by virtue of his cunning and ingenuity — qualities that allow him to triumph over entrenched poverty and outlive a robber bent on stealing his livelihood. Women are especially vulnerable without the protection of family and marriage ties, as the protagonist of 'Saleema' learns: a maid in the Harouni mansion who cultivates a love affair with an older servant, Saleema is left with a baby and without recourse when he must honor his first family and renounce her. Similarly, the women who become lovers of powerful men, as in the title story and in 'Provide, Provide,' fall into disgrace and poverty with the death of their patrons. An elegant stylist with a light touch, Mueenuddin invites the reader to a richly human, wondrous experience." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "In these stories, love...is not a vice, but it can be dangerous. It can ruin a powerful man's position in society or create in someone such an inner torment that the love affair is drained of all of its initial passion and excitement — usually after that love has been officially consummated by a marriage, locking the participants into their self-made prison. In Mueeenuddin's frequently haunting tales, love can also be a tool to aid the rise of inveterate manipulators — as most are, must be even, if they are to survive in this unforgiving world. But to Mueenuddin's credit, he does not attempt to communicate a moral in depicting these dangers, only outlining the perils inherent in giving one's self over to an emotion that could run afoul of a society that depends on decorum, reputation, and discretion." (read the entire Bookslut review)
"Review" by , "A stunning achievement....Such is its narrative power that I couldn't stop turning the page."
"Review" by , "Daniyal Mueenuddin takes us into a sumptuously created world, peopled with characters who are both irresistible and compellingly human. His stories unfold with the authenticity and resolute momentum of timeless classics."
"Synopsis" by , Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction: 'The rural rootedness and gentle humour of R.K. Narayan with the literary sophistication and stylishness of Jhumpa Lahiri."Financial Times
"Synopsis" by , Short-listed three times for the Booker Prize, Anita Desai explores time and transformation in these artful novellas

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Anita Desai ruminates on art and memory, illusion and disillusion, and the sharp divide between lifes expectations and its realities in three perfectly etched novellas. Set in India in the not-too-distant past, the stories dramas illuminate the ways in which Indian culture can nourish or suffocate. All are served up with Desais characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor, and sensitive writing.

Overwhelmed by their own lack of purpose, the men and women who populate these tales set out on unexpected journeys that present them with a fresh sense hope and opportunity. Like so many flies in a spiders web, however, they cannot escape their surroundingsas none of us can. An impeccable craftsman, Desai elegantly reveals our human frailties and the power of place.

"Synopsis" by , Passing from the mannered drawing rooms of Pakistan's cities to the harsh mud villages beyond, Daniyal Mueenuddin's linked stories describe the interwoven lives of an aging feudal landowner, his servants and managers, and his extended family, industrialists who have lost touch with the land. In the spirit of Joyce's Dubliners and Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches, these stories comprehensively illuminate a world, describing members of parliament and farm workers, Islamabad society girls and desperate servant women. A hard-driven politician at the height of his powers falls critically ill and seeks to perpetuate his legacy; a girl from a declining Lahori family becomes a wealthy relative's mistress, thinking there will be no cost; an electrician confronts a violent assailant in order to protect his most valuable possession; a maidservant who advances herself through sexual favors unexpectedly falls in love.

Together the stories in In Other Rooms, Other Wonders make up a vivid portrait of feudal Pakistan, describing the advantages and constraints of social station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change. Refined, sensuous, by turn humorous, elegiac, and tragic, Mueenuddin evokes the complexities of the Pakistani feudal order as it is undermined and transformed.
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