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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal…
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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

by Daniyal Mueenuddin

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English (42)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Good, but the cover hyperbole had me expecting a true marvel. They are intense and varied stories that peep into different worlds that touch each other but do not connect. ( )
  77nanci | Jun 9, 2013 |
The subtitle should be: If You're Poor, You're Screwed in Pakistan, sub-subtitle should be: And If You're Rich, You're Aimless, sub-sub-subtitle: Don't Trust the Police. Very depressing without emotional involvement.
  Citizenjoyce | May 19, 2013 |
The stories in this collection layer to form a picture of Pakistan's social structure. The local society and economy is centered in a few landowners, who often live in one of Pakistan's larger cities like Lahore or Islamabad and have managers who oversee their country estates. In most of the stories, the main characters are trying to improve their living conditions by securing positions within a landowner's household as employees, servants, or, in the case of some of the women, as mistresses.

Most of the stories have a tone of hopelessness or resignation. Security is tenuous, dependent on the health and financial stability of the landowner/employer. Most of the protagonists must decide whether to cast their lot with another person; once the choice is made, they rise or fall with that person's fortune. Even the wealthy characters have limited choices since their responsibilities are defined by society.

“About a Burning Girl” stands out from the rest of the stories with its first-person narrator and its humorous tone. This was the most enjoyable story to read. The one that may haunt me longest is “A Spoiled Man”, in which the thoughtless kindnesses of an American woman set in motion a cruel chain of events. There's not a weak story in the collection. Highly recommended. ( )
2 vote cbl_tn | May 6, 2013 |
Collection of short stories, mostly set in Pakistan. Mostly excellent. I discovered him from a superb short story in Granta. Also, I think, from the New Yorker. The one set in Paris, with characters loosely based on the author (Our Lady of Paris”) is least convincing, not engaging or original — the characters flat. He is too close to them and so cannot properly see them, I think. ( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book was a lovely surprise. I picked it up because I needed a book set in Pakistan for the Around the World in 80 books challenge. It's a lovely, lovely book of short stories, most of them set around Lahore and in the world of an important family, the Harouni. The stories feature members of the family, members of the staff. Different characters, of different social classes : well to do young men and women, servants, field workers.

You get a feel of a Pakistan we don't read or hear about. Every day life, every day people, with every day, tragic and devastating problems and every day lovely surprises.

( )
  writerlibrarian | Mar 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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.
added by chazzard | editThe Observer, Tim Adams (Apr 12, 2009)
 
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. Some bust, others surrender. But in Mueenuddin’s world, no one wins.

Set in the Pakistani district of Punjab, the eight linked stories in this excellent book follow the lives of the rich and power­ful Harouni family and its employees: man­agers, drivers, gardeners, cooks, servants.
added by dchaikin | editNew York Times, DALIA SOFER (Feb 6, 2009)
 
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Epigraph
Three things for which we kill---Land, women and gold. --- Punjabi proverb.
Dedication
For my mother
First words
He flourished on a signature capability, a technique for cheating the electric company by slowing down the revolution of electric meters, so cunningly done that his customers could specify to the hundred-rupee note the desired monthly savings.
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Three things for which we kill - Land, women and gold. (Punjabi proverb)
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Le titre anglais de "la saison des mangues introuvables" est "in other rooms, other wonders".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393337200, Paperback)

Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction and the 2009 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. “The rural rootedness and gentle humour of R.K. Narayan with the literary sophistication and stylishness of Jhumpa Lahiri.”—Financial Times

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A volume of linked stories describes the intertwined lives of landowners and their retainers on the Gurmani family farm in Pakistan, in a collection that explores such themes as culture, class power, and desire.

» see all 3 descriptions

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Editions: 0393068005, 0393337200

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