Excerpt from In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

By Daniyal Mueenuddin

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Feb 2009,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2010,
    256 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Stay inside of me,” she said.

Her thoughts were racing, from idea to idea. Oh would he marry her, and she knew he wouldn’t. She had been taken by so many men; could have given herself to him so much more pure.

“Now turn off the lights,” she said.

“No, let’s go out in a minute. Let’s go in the garden and look at the flowers.”

In the garden he even held her hand. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “If you have strange thoughts, remember it’s the bhang. Be happy.”

“Well, it’s warm,” she said. The sun beat down, the dust on the roses seemed heavy, under a banyan tree the grass didn’t grow. She kicked off her shoes, felt the cool earth.

“Lie down here,” she said, “next to me, hold me.”

And though they might have been seen, he did.

All the afternoon they walked around together, even in the house, looking at the paintings, the furniture. Rafik wanted to sit with the drivers, but she said no, she wanted to be with him alone. Hassan banged around the kitchen, he had eaten too many of the samosas.

That evening she said to Rafik, “I’ll be back in half an hour.”

She went to her own room. Her husband lay on the bed, on his pills, twitching his fingers.

“Look,” she said, standing over him. “You’re a mess. You’ve been a mess for two years. Now I’ll never sleep in your bed again.”

He began to cry, his emaciated face, his long yellow teeth. This she hadn’t expected. He sobbed, real tears. She sat down on the broken chair in the corner, looking at the shelf on which she kept her few things, a metal jar of eyeliner, a tin box thrown out by Kamila that once held chocolates.

“Will I still get my money?”

Then she stood up again. “Yes, but if you ever say one funny word, that’s it.”

She took some clothes, and when she hung them from a nail in Rafik’s room he said nothing. She held him all night, his face in her breasts.

Only once, waking, she thought, That was our marriage feast, drugged samosas, and she felt sad and worn and frightened.

Now she slept each night in Rafik’s bed, leaving her husband to his addiction. Fall and winter came, the leaves fell, at night they slept under a heavy quilt that the managers at the farm sent to Rafik as a present. She slept naked, which still after five months disturbed him. Rafik woke before dawn, to say his prayers, then went into the kitchen and had tea with Hassan. The sahib woke early, and Rafik had duties until mid-morning. When he came to wake her, she would pretend still to be asleep, face hidden in the quilt—she always slept with her head covered. He would bring a cup of tea and some toast.

“Come in with me,” she would say, moving over in the bed, leaving a warm spot, and sometimes he would. Her long hair hung down, and she would brush it, while he told her about the guests who had come for bridge, or about some feud in the kitchen. He read the Urdu paper New Times, sitting in the morning sun, wearing ancient horn-rimmed glasses with thick lenses. She bought him a warm woolen hat and carefully washed and mended his clothes. She wanted everyone to see how well she cared for him. She said, “You wear me on your back, and I wear you on my face.” Her face had softened.

She missed one period, then a second, but said nothing to Rafik.

They had finished making love one afternoon, and were talking, her head on his shoulder.

He was stroking her belly.

“I might as well tell you. See how I’m bigger? I’m pregnant.”

He pushed her head away and sat up. “That’s bad.”

Excerpted from In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin. © 2009 by Daniyal Mueenuddin. Excerpted by permission of W.W.Norton & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.