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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

23 Feb 2010

In my Postcolonial Literature class my professor had us read Daniyal Mueenuddin’s copiously praised short story collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. I’ve been missing out.

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, raised in Elroy, Wisconsin, educated at Groton School, Dartmouth College, University of Arizona and Yale Law School, Mueenuddin is a man of both East and West (some would say more of the latter than the former). He currently makes his cove in Pakistan’s southern Punjab, having elected to return to his home country and take over his family farm, which upon his civil servant father’s death had been left stale and withering.

The stories examine everyday life for Pakistani men and women scattered across the social spectrum. Though at times I wonder how much Mueenuddin really knows of his country’s own situation, there is a real, palpable sense of the social hierarchies and problems which all the stories’ characters–rich or poor, female or male–must answer to.

If you want to learn about this modern Pakistani condition, teetering on the cusp of past feudal orders and new industrial dealings, I highly recommend In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.

Listen to an NPR interview with Mueenuddin below:

http://public.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/me/2009/11/20091125_me_03.mp3?dl=1

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