In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, By Daniyal Mueenuddin
Sunday 25 April 2010
These eight linked short stories centre on the estate of the wealthy Harouni family in Pakistan, focusing in turn on servants, masters, concubines, illiterate peasants and university-educated socialites.
"Nawabdin Electrician" is the story of a handyman who takes four bullets from a robber rather than give up his prized motorbike, a gift from Harouni. "About a Burning Girl" is the tale of a judge persuaded to secure the acquittal of a servant, because "good servants are impossible to find". "A Spoiled Man" describes the life of an old retainer whose wife disappears; when he reports it to the police they torture and beat him, simply because no one has alerted them that he worked for the Harouni family.
Mueenuddin's themes are love, hope, disappointment, change and loss. In many respects these stories bear comparison with Chekhov: in the skill of the storytelling, the spare yet lyrical descriptions, the sympathetic yet utterly unsentimental voice, and in the depiction of a feudal world giving way to modernity.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia