Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin

The son of a Pakistani civil servant and an American writer, Daniyal Mueenuddin grew up in Lahore and Wisconsin, trained as a lawyer in the U.S. and then returned to rural Pakistan to run his family's farm. He writes — in an unadorned, mesmerizing style — with both a deep understanding of Pakistani culture and an appreciation for what Western audiences know, or don't know, about life in a country that features far more prominently in the news than on the fiction shelf. The eight stories that make up his debut collection are marked by conflict and corruption — he's especially attuned to the subtle power struggles that can infect a household — but in this bleak environment, it's the little victories that keep his characters hopeful.