Mueenuddin's fiction immerses the reader in a remote world that has rarely if ever been depicted in contemporary fiction, but is the world of his childhood: a farm in the southern Punjab region of Pakistan. Located ten hours by road from Lahore, the nearest major city, Mueenuddin spent summers and vacations on the farm until he was 13, when he was sent to boarding school in America. After graduating from Dartmouth, he returned to Pakistan to run the property and remained there for seven years. While learning the Byzantine intricacies of running his father's large farm and struggling to wrest control of the property from the farm managers and other local strongmen, he also devoted time to writing poetry and prose. These linked stories are rooted in this experience and evoke the complex nature of Pakistani class and culture.
In exquisite, rich language that is both funny and tragic, Mueenuddin examines the entwined lives of an extended family of Pakistani landowners and their servants, who are all jockeying for a favor, an advantage, for love, money and power while pushing against the constraints of their class. In particular, Mueenuddin conveys the power struggles of old and new, of the aged and the young, the rich and the poor, revealing how subtleties and small gestures can bring about a major shift in relationships and outcomes.