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اثر دانیال معین الدین از انتشارات میلکان - مترجم: فریده اشرفی-پرافتخارترین کتاب ها

هشت داستان به‌هم پیوسته‌ی این مجموعه، جامعه‌ی رنگارنگی را آشکار می‌سازند که موقعیت‌های اجتماعی و توقعات مردم آن بدون توجیه، شناخته و درک می‌شوند؛ و در این جامعه، نظام طبقه‌بندی اجتماعی و فقر برای تأثیرگذاری بر هر انتخابی نشان داده می‌شود و دنیایی ترسیم می‌شود که هیچ‌کس در آن برنده نیست؛

این داستان‌ها که فضای رخداد بسیاری از آن‌ها در دهه‌های ۱۹۷۰ تا ۱۹۹۰ اتفاق می‌افتند، فرهنگ پاکستانی و نوع قرارگرفتن آن در سیستم و نظام‌های اجتماعی مختلف در جهان را توصیف می‌کنند؛


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Normally the glowing endorsements on the back and inside cover of every publication should be taken in the same spirit as any other kind of advertising-speak. Its sometimes entertaining to see how many synonyms can be found for engrossing, but since just about every piece of fiction is described as captivating/mesmerising/enrapturing/ those words become flat and meaningless. So what can I say? To add to my troubles, as someone who has the conceit to post reviews of books Ive read I also have the conceit to expect myself to say something original. But here I am, sorely tempted to pinch all those words from the blurb, because in this case they are all so true.
These are glowing jewels of stories, written in graceful and steady prose. They reveal to us a world where life is not so much cheap as precarious, teetering on the edge of a precipice, where everything can be swept away by an arbitrary act of kindness or violence. For this is perhaps the most disturbing message of these moving stories: even when man intends only good, evil can follow. But the characters are not vicious, even the wealthy who believe they are philanthropists and yet leave havoc in their wake, they are not vicious. The stories are all told with such tenderness, such gentleness that every figure is given human dignity, no matter where he stands in the order of things, whether he is a victim of feudal structures or the beneficiary of privilege.
Fiction can teach us a lot. I recently read an informative piece of journalism that reported on the reasons why, in a healthy emerging economy such as now prevails in India, children can still die of starvation. Government measures to provide cheap staple food for the poor, free high protein nourishment for their children and work creation schemes for their parents are doomed to fail where corruption takes the largest share. Mueenuddin writes not of India but of Pakistan: he paints the lowest and the highest social classes, and also gives us a glimpse of a tiny middle class that has to fight for survival. The people in his stories are both individuals and at the same time representatives of a historical development. And we learn how a society that is based on patronage and favour works.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This is one of the best set of short stories I have read. Well crafted and very readable.
Pakistan is portrayed rather bleakly. The rich seem either corrupt, lazy or greedy. Inherited wealth seem to be either squandered or milked by sycophants. The poor are really poor. All people seem to be looking for a way to make easy money. There are a lot of traditions, meanness and small mindedness.
The characters come from different classes, ages, sexes, fortunes. They are well constructed and generally pretty sad.
Each story is complete and there are few typical short stories surprised endings. Each ending was like coming to the end in a novel.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Occasionally a book makes the reader realize how little they know of its subject matter. Such was my experience with “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders”. There is a plethora of literature from some Asian countries, particularly India, Japan, and China. But reading this book of connected stories set in post-partition Pakistan left me wondering. Especially wondering how many misconceptions I had of the country post-9/11. Placed in chronological order, the settings, lives and characters at first held close resemblance to India. I needed to adjust how I absorbed what I was reading. The way a situation was handled, the manner in which family members treated one another would put me off-balance.

In short, this was an eye-opening book. As always in a collection of stories, some were stronger than others. Overall, I felt Mueenuddin was more successful when focusing on male characters. However the plight of women, especially those attempting to become the wives, mistresses, and lovers of men of high status took center stage. And it is these women who remain in my mind. However, while reading, I was less absorbed by their narratives. I am still unsure if this was my own cultural barrier, whether I was bothered by their choices (of which several had few) or if the stories were less strong. I also felt the more historical narratives were more authentic than those of the modern women.

This is a personal reaction and I am sure other readers will disagree.

Mueenuddin has lived in America and includes marriages of Pakistanis with western emigrants/immigrants in his stories. I was unaware that this was not uncommon in the upper classes of Pakistan pre-911.

This would make a wonderful discussion book and I highly recommend it. Mueenuddin is a descriptive and detailed writer and makes Pakistan come to life.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Theres a wonderful fable-like quality to these stories glimpsing the interstices of Pakistan--spaces between the rich and the poor, the feudal land-owning class and the rising industrialists, the old and the young, the spiritual and the corporeal... The stories are loosely tied together by the wealthy K.K. Harouni and his large business empire which seems about to crumble with his impending death. Mueenuddin weaves a sincere sense of place, as well as a fascinating look at the dynamics between people.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I am in love. Unbelievable book, this. The characters will stay with me for a long time. And such an interesting format.
I was so sorry to finish the book and leave the world woven within.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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