Inside Pakistan: Real Lives, Real People

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Cover via Powell's Books)

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Cover via Powell's Books)

It’s no wonder that Danyal Mueenuddin’s extraordinary collection of linked stories, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, is creating a buzz all the way from People Magazine to The Economist. The truth is that I can’t wait to go home and read another chapter, and it’s not often that I get to say that. In the first chapter we meet Nawab, the crafty electrician, who uses the challenge of having sired twelve daughters for whom he must provide dowries as a goad to stretch his resilience, resourcefulness, and sleight of hand. In the second chapter we meet Saleema, a maid who resolutely sleeps her way up until she falls for a fatal form of true love in the arms of an aging valet.

I can’t tell you anymore because I haven’t gotten any farther, but what I can tell you is that Mueenuddin is a remarkable writer with a gift for making us believe in his flesh and blood characters, and letting us in on their heartbreaking stories without compromise or sentimentality which is what makes them ring true. I look forward with real relish to talking with him next Thursday in our Inside Islam series. He’s just what we need to break through the border of Tora Bora, Al-Qaeda, and Benazir Bhutto to get into the heart of the real Pakistan.

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