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“In Other Rooms, Other Wonders”

In Other Rooms, Other WondersThe Washington Post describes Daniyal Mueenuddin’s collection of eight short stories as “a kind of miniaturized Pakistani ‘human comedy.’ ” Not a comedy in the humorous sense, however; as Bookmarks Magazine explains, “Mueenuddin remains evenhanded, elegantly setting the stage for the tensions between power and poverty and all attendant human frailties to play out.” This tension and frailty come through in a formula of sorts that the author uses in his writing. As the Post notes: “Many of Mueenuddin’s stories conform to a common dynamic: We learn about a character’s past, then zero in on the central crisis of his or her life and, even while we expect more development, suddenly find everything wound up in a paragraph or two.” In the end, even though they take place in Pakistan, Mueenuddin’s stories speak to a recognizable truth regarding the human condition, making them universal in the themes — light or dark — they portray. Entertainment Weekly praises Mueenuddin’s ability to handle life and language with ease: “His crisp, vivid voice glides effortlessly into his various characters’ heads… And oh, can this man write from the perspective of women, all of whom in these pages are struggling in a sludge of powerlessness. Dark stuff, but full of beauty.”

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