Daniyal Mueenuddin's first book has been called "a debut as auspicious as Jhumpa Lahiri's" (Nadeem Aslam). Considering Lahiri's debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies
won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, the comparison suggests there are high expectations for Mueenuddin. Luckily for us, his collection of eight related stories more than satisfies.
While In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
can be read as a study in contrasts, from the socialite wedding in "Lily" to the marriage between a groundskeeper and a villager in "A Spoiled Man", they reveal more similarities than differences. Whether we find the characters in tree-lined estates or servants' quarters, nearly all of them are driven towards finding love or seeking advancement in post-colonial Pakistan. The effects of a feudal past on its inheritors would provide enough material for several books; Mueenuddin focuses on...
Beyond the Book
Daniyal Mueenuddin on Farming, Traveling West, and Returning Home to Write
"For many years I have run a farm in Pakistan's southern Punjab. Most of the stories in this book have their origins in my experiences there, and many were written there. Half Pakistani and half American, I have spent equal amounts of time in each country, and so, knowing both cultures well and belonging to both, I equally belong to neither, look at both with an outsider's eye. These stories are written from that place in between, written to help both me and my reader bridge the gap.
My father was a graduate of Oxford, a member first of the Indian and then,...