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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal…

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

by Daniyal Mueenuddin

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English (44)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
This is a haunting work, with emotional land mines sewn into a series of seemingly uncomplicated short stories. A young woman with no prospects seduces an elderly rich man to gain a few luxuries. A woman rejects her wild youth to settle down with a stable husband. An internationally-tense meet the parents scenario. While the bare bones of each plot is simple and unsurprising- this book challenges all preconceived notions of the power-struggles between men and women. And while everything is doomed and damned with unconquerable fatalism, the richness of the emotions captures the pure blind hope of being in love. While the characters fall into stereotype relationship disasters- the hidden mistress, the duty-bound husband, the class-conflicted, the age-inappropriate, the workplace romance--- all those typical situations that cause hum-bug moralists to tilt their heads and think "Should have know better..." Mueenuddin creates this magical intimacy that allows the readers to connect with that moment- that throw caution and reason to the wind moment- where someone lets temptation get the better of them. And the reader gets to feel that hope, while under no illusion that there will be any happily-ever after.
The other unique aspect of Mueenudin's work is "when" he allows his characters to fall in love. After intense manipulation- callous indifference- cold calculation- a decision to settle-- all unromantic scenarios--- he still lets these stained creatures find some measure of genuine feeling. And so, for however brief a flash- he makes all of these bedraggled tales- love stories. And that makes this work very poignant, and very sad. ( )
  Alidawn | Jan 15, 2016 |
This book is a collection of short stories set mostly in Pakistan. I found them to be mostly just average. The book was well written, but not so well written that I could get past the fact that the stories and characters were dull. A lot of reviewers have compared this author's style to that of Jhumpa Lahiri. I suppose it is in the sense that many of his stories were very similar to each other. And the stories all ended before it seemed like they should with a lot of unhappy characters. Other than that I enjoyed Lahiri's stories much better. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (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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Three things for which we kill---Land, women and gold. --- Punjabi proverb.
For my mother
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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.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:46 -0400)

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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.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393068005, 0393337200

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