Daniyal Mueenuddin often thinks of mango trees when he’s not thinking about his fiction, said Radhika Jones in Time. The 45-year-old runs his family’s farm in Pakistan, and he’s come to enjoy a daily blending of his roles as both author and agriculturalist. “I crawl out of bed about 6, have some tea, and immediately I meet my managers,” he says. Once his men head for the fields, he writes until 2 p.m. Late afternoon finds him touring his greenhouses and orchards or poring over farm finances. The latter probably should get more attention than they do, he admits. “But it’s so much fun walking around.”
Mueenuddin is well practiced in straddling cultures, said Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in The Wall Street Journal. The son of an American mother and a Pakistani father, he was reared in Punjab until age 13, at which point he was shipped to a Massachusetts boarding school. “Cue massive culture shock,” he says. After graduating from Dartmouth, he went back to the farm for seven years, then on to Yale Law School, a New York law firm, and finally a master’s program in writing. The stories in his acclaimed debut collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, draw solely on his Pakistani life. Still, if he had to choose one vocation, Mueenuddin would quit farming first. “I would miss it tremendously,” he says. But “I can’t imagine giving up writing.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- How science can help you survive scary movies
- Feast your eyes on this beautiful linguistic family tree
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week