Grouped loosely around the wealthy landowner and businessman K.K. Harouni, the eight stories in Daniyal Mueenuddin’s fascinating debut collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (W.W. Norton, $23.95), is an upstairs/downstairs look at contemporary Pakistani society. However well off, Mueenuddin’s characters are always concerned with sheer survival, whether it’s struggling with relatives over an inheritance, paying off the right politicians, making an advantageous marriage, starting an affair, or keeping on the good side of the senior servants. Often desperate, these figures find ingenious ways to get by; some simply work hard, despite the odds, while others develop a cutthroat opportunism. Then there’s Rezak, an impoverished gardener, dying of loneliness, whose “home and consolation” is the box he lives in, a kind of house made from debris, which Rezak dismantles and carts off each time he loses a job and must move on.

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780393337204
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 2009

Simon Van Booy writes some of the most haunting and lyrical prose you’ll find in fiction today. He evokes the pain of grief as “a country where it rains and rains but nothing grows,” as vividly as he does the faux Venice of a Las Vegas casino or the rainy hills of Ireland. While the five stories in Love Begins In Winter (Harper Perennial, $13.99) dramatize love in its various forms from ferocious to tender, his true focus is the vulnerable, pure-hearted child in all of us. “Isn’t everything something from childhood?” he asks, and his stories register the lasting truth of our first impressions of love and loss, of joy and isolation. Like the fiction in his beautiful first book, The Secret Lives of People in Love, these stories glow with the melancholy of foreign art films and wet roads that “reflect the world with a beautiful inaccuracy”—only Van Booy’s reflections are both beautiful and dead on.

Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780061661471
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 12th, 2009

Cynthia Ozick is a meticulous writer, and her latest fiction is the bounty of a long life of careful reading, deep thought, natural wit, and a relish of all things human, from foibles to manners to graver questions of history, religion, and language. All this—and more—figures in Dictation: A Quartet (Mariner, $13.95) of novellas. Different from one another in tone and subject, these stories range from a tour de force of historic fiction, premised on a friendship between the assistants to Henry James and Joseph Conrad; to a New York theatre’s revival of a Yiddish play and an old man’s rage; to a marriage of mercy between a pregnant maid and a visiting journalist in Mussolini’s Italy; to a family mystery involving a universal language to rival Esperanto.

Dictation: A Quartet Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780547237879
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 14th, 2009

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