A Pakistani-American author—cited for the empathy, depth, and complexity of his work—is the winner of the $20,000 The Story Prize for his book In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
At the end of an evening of readings and conversation, debut writer Daniyal Mueenuddin took the stage and accepted The Story Prize for his collection In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, a book of eight connected stories set in southern Pakistan and centering around the estate of a feudal landowner. The curators of The Story Prize, Dark and Lindsey selected the three finalists from among 78 books entered in 2009, representing 53 different publishers. The Story Prize is the highest prize money given in the literature award
Its interesting to read the experience that shaped his debut book from being a student at the Lahore American School to graduate from Yale and working for some time as a lawyer at a New York law firm only to quit a few years later and return to his homeland to compose this book, the story is definitely worth reading. It is mostly his own personal journey across the years that has shaped this 256 page collection of short stories. Daniyal Mueenuddin links a number of short stories to describe the interwoven lives of an aging feudal landowner, his servants and managers, and his extended family who have lost touch with the land. The stories in – In Other Rooms, Other Wonders make up a vivid portrait of feudal Pakistan, describing the advantages and constraints of social station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change.
New York Times Dalia Sofer reviewed this book last month quite interestingly writes “Reading Daniyal Mueenuddin’s mesmerizing first collection, “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders,” is like watching a game of blackjack, the shrewd players calculating their way beyond their dealt cards in an attempt to beat the dealer. Some bust, others surrender. But in Mueenuddin’s world, no one wins.”
On Nov 25th 2009 NPR interviewed Daniyal Mueenuddin for the Morning Edition, the transcript of the interview can be read at NPR website while the audio can be heared here[audio:inotherroom.mp3]