City Of Djinns: A Year In Delhi

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9780143031062: City Of Djinns: A Year In Delhi

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 curiosity about the ways in which the ghosts of even the most distant past still walk in the twentieth century. On one level there are the amusing rites of passage, the struggles with bureaucracy, the eccentricity of author's landlord, all entertainingly related. He 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 his skill in peeling the historical onion and showing how (the) New Delhi resonates with the old. A splendid tapestry.

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About the Author:

William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. He wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu when he was twenty-two. The book won the 1990 Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award and a Scottish Arts Council Spring Book Award; it was also shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. In 1989 Dalrymple moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching his second book, City of Djinns, which won the 1994 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. From the Holy Mountain, his acclaimed study of the demise of Christianity in its Middle Eastern homeland, was awarded the Scottish Arts Council Autumn Book Award for 1997; it was also shortlisted for the 1998 Thomas Cook Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize. A collection of his writings about India, The Age of Kali, was published in 1998.

William Dalrymple is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Asiatic Society, and in 2002 was awarded the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his ‘outstanding contribution to travel literature’. He wrote and presented the British television series Stones of the Raj and Indian Journeys, which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA in 2002. His Radio 4 series on the history of British spirituality and mysticism, The Long Search, recent won the 2002 Sandford St Martin Prize for Religious Broadcasting and was described by the judges as 'thrilling in its brilliance... near perfect radio.'He is married to the artist Olivia Fraser, and they have three children. They now divide their time between London and Delhi.

From Library Journal:

Delhi has a richly layered past, and Dalrymple (In Xanadu, McKay, 1990) deftly peels away each layer to reveal how the city came to be what it is today. Djinns are spirits said to be seen only after prolonged fasting and prayer; they too are integral to understanding the city. The author, a young Scot carrying on the fine British tradition of travel writing, has a knack for meeting fascinating people and capturing their most revealing remarks. He introduces us to dervishes, eunuchs, partridge fighting, weddings, and expatriates. His wife contributes sketches that nicely complement his text. Considering the importance of Delhi, the capital of the world's second most populous nation, this book deserves to be in most public and academic libraries.
Harold M. Otness, Southern Oregon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2004. Softcover. Book Condition: New. ?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 Printed Pages: 306. Bookseller Inventory # 21868

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2004. Softcover. Book Condition: New. ‘Dalrymple is probably the best travel writer of his generation’â€"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.’â€"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.’â€"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.’â€"Trevor Fishlock, Sunday Telegraph ‘A sympathetic and engaging portrait of this age-old city’â€"Nicholas Wordsworth, Financial Times ‘Scholalry and marvellously entertaining … A considerable feat.’â€"Dervia Murphy, Spectator ‘Unlike much of modern travel writing [City of Djinns] is informative, learned and funny … a lively and sometimes profound book.’â€"Emma duncan, Economist ‘An expansive and inclusive work, richly peopled … an enlightening and entertaining book.’â€"Iain Wetherby, Literary Review Printed Pages: 306. Bookseller Inventory # 21868

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