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Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi's centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters along the way-from eunuchs to descendants of great Moguls. With refreshingly open-minded curiosity, William Dalrymple explores the seven "dead" cities of Delhi as well as the eighth city—today's Delhi. Underlying his quest is the legend of the djinns, fire-formed spirits that are said to assure the city's Phoenix-like regeneration no matter how many times it is destroyed. Entertaining, fascinating, and informative, City of Djinns is an irresistible blend of research and adventure.
‘Could you show me a djinn?’ I asked. ‘Certainly,’ replied the Sufi. ‘But you would run away.’
Winner of the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel book Award and Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year -Dalrymple is probably the best travel writer of his generation'"Daily Mail -As the author of the best travel book of recent years at the intensely irritating age of twenty-two, William Dalrymple has now shown that In Xanadu was no fluke. City of Djinns is an entertaining mix of history and diary informed by a deep curiousity about the ways in which the ghosts of even the most distant past still walk in the twentieth century.'"Christopher Lockwood, Daily Telegraph -Dalrymple has pulled it off again - At a time when the book of travels is beginning to lose its fashionable allure, City of Djinns is not really a travel book at all. It is a kind of memoir recording the response of a single, gentle, merry and learned mind to the presence of an ancient city ... Dalrymple is anything but avoyeur. Even his excursions into the world o the eunuchs are conducted with a kind of grave innocence. He is more a pilgrim than an observer, always trying to understand - It is the work of a man who has consciously chosen to commit himself to the profession of letters, and in it we see the first fine rapture of In Xanadu deepening to a profounder dedication - hours and hours of pleasure for his readers.'"Jan Morris, Independent -One one level there are the amusing rites of passage, the struggles with bureaucracy, the eccentricity of Dalrymple's landlord, all entertainingly related. Dalrymple has a way of letting you smell and feel the city. There are beautifully chiselled descriptions of a grand capital - but much of the book's strength lies in Dalrymple's skill in peeling the historical onion and showing how (the) New Delhi resonates with the old - A splendid tapestry.'"Trevor Fishlock, Sunday Telegraph -A sympathetic and engaging portrait of this age-old city'"Nicholas Wordsworth, Financial Times -Scholalry and marvellously entertaining - A considerable feat.'"Dervia Murphy, Spectator -Unlike much of modern travel writing [City of Djinns] is informative, learned and funny - a lively and sometimes profound book.'"Emma duncan, Economist -An expansive and inclusive work, richly peopled - an enlightening and entertaining book.'"Iain Wetherby, Literary Review.
In Xanadu is, without doubt, one of the best travel books produced in the last 20 years. It is witty and intelligent, brilliantly observed, deftly constructed and extremely entertaining& Dalrymple s gift for transforming ordinary humdrum experience into something extraordinary and timeless suggests that he will go from strength to strength Alexander Maitland, Scotland on Sunday
A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day. LONGLISTED FOR THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE
The Age of Kali is a panorama of the Indian subcontinent, poised between chaos, westernization and immemorial tradition& It is like Dalrymple s previous books, erudite, engaging and entertaining Martin Gayford, Spectator Books of the Year
On a dark evening in November 1862, a cheap coffin is buried in eerie silence. There are no lamentations or panegyrics, for the British Commissioner in charge has insisted, 'No vesting will remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Mughals rests.' This Mughal is Bahadur Shah Zafar II, one of the most tolerant and likeable of his remarkable dynasty who found himself leader of a violent and doomed uprising. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad, the end of both Mughal power and a remarkable culture.

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