In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Paperback)

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders By Daniyal Mueenuddin Cover Image

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Paperback)


Special Order—Subject to Availability

Winner of the Story Prize

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Finalist for the National Book Award

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

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.

Daniyal Mueenuddin was brought up in Lahore, Pakistan and Elroy, Wisconsin. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School, his stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope, The Best American Short Stories 2008, selected by Salman Rushdie, and PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2010. For a number of years he practiced law in New York. He now lives on a farm in Pakistan’s southern Punjab.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393337204
ISBN-10: 0393337200
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: November 16th, 2009
Pages: 256
Language: English
Reading Daniyal Mueenuddin’s mesmerizing first collection 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 instills luminous glimmers of longing, loss and, most movingly, unfettered love.
— New York Times Book Review

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders is a collection full of pleasures…on every page there are wonderful, surprising observations and details.

— Washington Post

The eight short stories of Daniyal Mueenuddin’s enchanting debut are dreamlike, illuminating contemporary Pakistan’s societal contradictions in prose as clear and serene as the contradictions themselves are subtle and tumultuous.
— Boston Globe

Like Turgenev…Mueenuddin has an eye for the tragedy and beauty in lives that a lesser writer might regard merely as miserable or eccentric…In recent years, Pakistan has been regarded in the West with anger and horror. Perhaps Mueenuddin’s portrait will help to bring it a different kind of attention, colored with sorrow and even fondness.
— New York Review of Books

Remarkable.… a poignant picture of Punjabi life.
— The Economist

[Mueenuddin’s] crisp, vivid voice glides effortlessly into his various characters’ heads.… Dark stuff, but full of beauty.
— Entertainment Weekly

An elegant stylist with a light touch, Mueenuddin invites the reader to a richly human, wondrous experience.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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.

— Manil Suri

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

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

Coverage from NPR