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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Paperback – 5 Apr 2010
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'In Other Rooms, Other Wonders may be fiction but it is of such an authentic stamp that it is history as well, more so by the day, and deserves to be read as such' The Times 'An astonishing collection of tales' William Dalrymple 'These stories are so engrossing that there is a wrench when one ends and the next must begin ... Mueenuddin's stories are intense with emotion' Sunday Times 'Each of the stories opens a door on to a life you had never expected, shines a light for a while and quietly closes the door again ... Mueenuddin writes with the freshness of an exile and the intimacy of an insider about Pakistani culture' Observer
About the Author
Daniyal Mueenuddin graduated from Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. After winning a Fulbright scholarship to study in Norway, he practiced law in New York before returning to Khanpur, Pakistan to manage the family farm. He divides his time between Cairo and Pakistan. Stories in this collection have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta and Salman Rushdie's Best American Short Story collection. 'Our Lady of Paris' was nominated for a National Magazine Award.
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This is a Pakistan that is seldom seen in the media. We see the status that a new motor cycle confers on a talented electrician, and the sexual shenanigans going on in all levels of society. For the servants, this is often used to gain security (usually with little success) while for the young, rich, it's often from boredom and as a kind of rebellion against the traditional expectations. I was surprised that religion plays almost no part in these stories, but then that probably illustrates the impact that the media has had on our views of Pakistani life.
Each story quickly gets you into the lives of these people who experience life in vastly different ways - which is no small achievement - and this beautifully demonstrates the complexity of the reality. The individual parts are each superb but the collected whole is so much better. If pushed to pick a favourite, then Our Lady of Paris is as perfect a short story as I think I have ever read.
Superb. Highly recommended and I look forward to more from this author for whom this is a staggeringly assured debut.
More thoughts on the book at: [...]