In Other Rooms, Other Wonders review

other-roomsHardcover short story collections are a tough sale.  A discriminating reader will only pick up a collection by a familiar author, which is why I picked up In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin.  I had already read three of the stories,  so I was amply prepared for this collection of connected stories set in Pakistan.  The first story, “Nawabdin Electrician,” was one I had already read, so it provided a comfortable start to the collection.  When I encountered the title story midway through it served as a landmark indicating that I was on the correct heading.  It was followed by the two stories I most enjoyed, “Our Lady of Paris” and “Lily,” wonderful stories of lovers reconciling their passion with their stations in life.  When I arrived at the crest of the vista and found awaiting me a story I had already read I felt somewhat disappointed.  It’s a fine story, but I felt like I had read the last chapter of the book first.  As experienced by some of the characters within this sound collection, familiarity breeds contempt.  Therein lies the catch-22 of short story collections.

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One Response to “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders review”

  1. […] to Daniyal Mueenuddin, author of the short story collection In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (see review posted 2/18/09), which was named one of the five National Book Award Finalists in Fiction. Winners will be […]

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