In Other Rooms, Other Wonders – a book discussion

September 1, 2010 at 11:40 am (Book clubs, books)

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, a story collection by Daniyal Mueenuddin, elicited a spirited discussion at a recent gathering of the Literary Ladies. Nancy provided us with fascinating background on this author. Son of a Pakistani father and an American mother, Mueenuddin obtained a creme de la creme education in the U.S.:  B.A. with honors from Dartmouth, law degree from Yale. He has lived alternately in this country and in Pakistan, where currently resides on his family’s farm. There’s more about this author on Wikipedia.

We agreed that in these compelling tales,  Mueenuddin effectively depicts the inner workings of Pakistan’s landed gentry and its choke  hold on that country’s social apparatus. Mobility, Nancy told us, is virtually impossible. If you are poor, you stay poor. The goal is not to become utterly destitute. There are signs, however, that  this ossified system is in the process of giving way, under pressure from the younger generation. “Upstarts Chip Away at Power of Pakistani’s Elite,” a story in this past Sunday’s New York Times, addresses just this subject.

What a pleasure to engage in vigorous discourse with fellow book lovers! A number of additional recommendations were made in the course of this discussion. These are  the titles I can specifically recall:

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

Each of these novels was thought to have some bearing on the content of In Other Rooms, Other Wonders:

Pakistan has been much in the news lately because of the terrible floods that are occurring there. Nancy’s husband was born in the Sindh region, much of which is now tragically inundated.

Click here for a video featuring Daniyal Mueenuddin and Mohsin Hamid. (A brief ad precedes the content.)

Below is an interview that appeared on India’s NDTV:


  1. Steephy mehreen said,

    I want to read this book.
    Can u share me this book critical analysis? ?

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