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Starred Review. In eight beautifully crafted, interconnected stories, Mueenuddin explores the cutthroat feudal society in which a rich Lahore landowner is entrenched. A complicated network of patronage undergirds the micro-society of servants, families and opportunists surrounding wealthy patron K.K. Harouni. In Nawabdin Electrician, Harounis indispensable electrician, Nawab, excels at his work and at home, raising 12 daughters and one son by virtue of his cunning and ingenuity—qualities that allow him to triumph over entrenched poverty and outlive a robber bent on stealing his livelihood. Women are especially vulnerable without the protection of family and marriage ties, as the protagonist of Saleema learns: a maid in the Harouni mansion who cultivates a love affair with an older servant, Saleema is left with a baby and without recourse when he must honor his first family and renounce her. Similarly, the women who become lovers of powerful men, as in the title story and in Provide, Provide, fall into disgrace and poverty with the death of their patrons. An elegant stylist with a light touch, Mueenuddin invites the reader to a richly human, wondrous experience. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Mueenuddin brings to bear on his stories his personal experience: the son of a Pakistani father and an American mother, he was educated in the United States and lives in Pakistan. Drawing comparisons to Flaubert, Chekov, and Balzac is a smart way to kick off a writing career. When not searching for analogs from the annals of literature, critics found plenty of superlatives to praise Mueenuddin's work, which effectively depicts a place and people plagued by class and ancestral tension and caught between the past and an uncertain future. While plenty of ugliness exists in the motives and petty schemes of his characters, Mueenuddin remains evenhanded, elegantly setting the stage for the tensions between power and poverty and all attendant human frailties to play out.Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Being born in America to Pakistani parents, still with family there, this book really resonated with me. I enjoyed it!Published 1 month ago by asna amin
Before buying this book, read the following "excerpt" and make up your mind for yourself. If you like this chapter, you will love the book! Read morePublished 3 months ago by EB
Three stars because you should read it, and not 4 or 5 because it somehow misses its potential. Very readable tales that have much to say about the upper class in Pakistan and the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dorothy Potter
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders is a series of eight linked short stories set in Pakistan.
Nawabdin, Electrician, the first story, tells of Nawab who works for K.K. Read more
Eight powerful short stories, linked by the fact that all the protagonists are somehow part of the circle of wealthy landowner Mr Harouni - whether his poor servants or wealthy and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by sally tarbox
The author, son of an American mother who wrote for the Washington Post and a Pakistani landowner, tells us at the end of the book that he belongs to both cultures, but sees the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kathleen Ann Burt
This book by Daniyal Mueenuddin is as fine a thing as I have read in years and has enriched my life. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Wild Bill Madison