In the spirit of Joyce's Dubliners and Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches, Daniyal Mueenuddin's collection of linked stories illuminates a place and a people through an examination of the entwined lives of landowners and their retainers on the Gurmani family farm in the countryside outside of Lahore, Pakistan. An aging feudal landlord's household staff, the villagers who depend on his favor, and a network of relations near and far who have sought their fortune in the cities confront the advantages and constraints of station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change.
Mueenuddin baresat times humorously, at times tragicallythe complexities of Pakistani class and culture and presents a vivid picture of a time and a place, of the old powers and the new, as the Pakistani feudal order is undermined and transformed.
As in the best collections, the stories enhance each other, forging connections between recurrent characters and building a world where real locations like Islamabad and Lahore blend with imagined households... Themes of struggle and progress may be familiar, but Mueenuddin's rich stories make them fresh and powerful, marking a debut as auspicious as any so far this year. (Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
The New York Times - Dalia Sofer
Reading Daniyal Mueenuddin's mesmerizing first collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, is like watching a game of blackjack, the shrewd players calculating their way beyond their dealt cards in an attempt to beat the dealer.…In this labyrinth of power games and exploits, Mueenuddin inserts luminous glimmers of longing, loss and, most movingly, unfettered love.
Starred Review. An elegant stylist with a light touch, Mueenuddin invites the reader to a richly human, wondrous experience.
Superlative stories from an accomplished stylist who looks as if he may well have a great novel in him.
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.
Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist
A stunning achievement....Such is its narrative power that I couldn't stop turning the page.
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, after Partition, of the Pakistani civil service - and, most fundamentally, a land owner of the old Punjabi feudal class. My American mother, a reporter with the Washington Post, met my father in Washington, where he was negotiating a treaty. She was twenty seven years younger than him. They married and...
An unflinching portrayal of the Korean immigrant experience from an extraordinary new talent in fiction.
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