24 July, 2021

A Daniyal Come To Be Judged

Enter a half-Pakistani, half-American gentleman-farmer-writer

A Daniyal Come To Be Judged
It is not often that you call a writer wowing literary circles across the world, and find him knee-deep in mud. "It's been raining heavily," explains Daniyal Mueenuddin from his farm "in the middle of nowhere"—the nearest town anyone would have heard of is Rahim Yaar Khan. The writer, whose debut collection of stories, In Other Rooms, Other Worlds, had 13 major publishers in the UK and US in a fevered bidding war last September, has been up at six, pumping water out of his greenhouses of cucumbers and bell peppers.

Life in an isolated village on the edge of the Thar desert in Pakistan's southern Punjab is not everyone's idea of a good life, but 45-year-old Daniyal, half-Pakistani, half-American, raised in Lahore and Massachusetts, says he couldn't have found a better place to write. It was here that his agent called him from New York several months ago, to tell him that The New Yorker had accepted the first of his short stories. "I wasn't a big sender-outer," says Daniyal. "It's pointless sending out to the New Yorker:...

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