A scintillating memoir of a year spent in Delhi by one of the best young writers at work today.
Alive with the mayhem of the present and sparkling with William Dalrymple's irrepressible wit, City of Djinns is a fascinating portrait of a city.
Watched over and protected by the mischievous, invisible djinns, Delhi has, through their good offices, been saved from destruction many times over the centuries. With an extraordinary array of characters, from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj, Dalrymple's second book is a unique and dazzling feat of research. Over the course of a year he comes to know the bewildering city intimately, and brilliantly conveys its magical nature, peeling back successive layers of history, and interlacing innumerable stories from Delhi's past and present.
William Dalrymple's first book, In Xanadu, earned him many plaudits for the skill of his writing and observation. In City of Djinns his attention turns to the city of Delhi. During a year spent in the city as a newspaper correspondent, Dalrymple began to explore the history of this mysterious place in all its richness. He peels away the layers of the city one by one, exploring its past as the refuge of the Moghul emperor, meeting the last people to recall life under the British Raj, the mysterious eunuchs who live in the city. He visits the shrines, its crumbling palaces, the houses built by the British and explores the largesse of the literary culture which once flourished in the city, hunting for the setting of The Mahabharata. Day by day, he also explores the modern city, meeting its citizens, recording their lives and skirmishing with his taxi driver, and his landlord and landlady, Mr and Mrs Puri. Dalrymple gives us a sharp and detailed account of life in modern India, juxtaposing it with glimpses of Delhi's strange and magical history, providing an unforgettable portrait of one of India's most bewildering cities. Dalrymple is undoubtedly one of the best travel writers of his generation. He combines an insatiable curiosity with an adventurous spirit, folds an erudite and intriguing quest within a pleasing, lucid prose style. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: June 1994
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.6 x 14.6 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.25