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In Other Rooms, Other Wondersby Daniyal Mueenuddin
Synopses & Reviews
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 Wondersis 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
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction: a major literary debut that explores class, culture, power, and desire among the ruling and servant classes of Pakistan.
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.
A volume of linked stories describes the intertwined lives of landowners and their retainers on the Gurmani family farm in Pakistan, in a collection that explores such themes as culture, class power, and desire.
About the Author
Daniyal Mueenuddinattended Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. After working as a lawyer in New York City, he now manages a farm in Pakistan.
Table of Contents
Nawabdin electrician — Saleema — Provide, provide — About a burning girl — In other rooms, other wonders — Our Lady of Paris — Lily — A spoiled man.
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