In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393068009
0393068005
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mueenudd Daniyal 02/2009
Characteristics: 247 p. ;,22 cm.

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aeblum Jan 31, 2013

Beautifully haunting. In the beginning I had difficulty picking it back up after I put it down, but I am so happy I read it through till the end.

g
GummiGirl
Oct 18, 2011

A fine collection of stories, with a common theme (and some recurring characters) but just enough variety. If you get bogged down in stories of unfortunate women, skip to the end for "Lily" and "A Spoiled Man." And don't miss the funny, cynical judge in "About a Burning Girl."

quagga Dec 24, 2009

Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people. That description is too simplistic for author Daniyal Mueenuddin's nuanced portrayal of the lives of servants in contemporary Pakistan, but be prepared for one sad outcome after another in this collection of short stories. They reminded me in style and tone of Aravind Adiga's Between the Assassinations.

Mueenuddin exhibits a tenderness towards his characters, no matter how desperate their situations. Anyone looking for insight into the complexities of human behaviour will be rewarded by reading this book.

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