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Nine Lives: Encounters with the Holy in Modern India Hardcover – 5 Oct 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury; 1st edition (5 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408800616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408800614
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.9 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

`William Dalrymple's Nine Lives takes the charm and natural verve of City of Djinns, marries it to the intellectual and spiritual engagement of From the Holy Mountain, and brings it off with all the narrative skill developed in his history books, combined with his ever more profound understanding of India.'
--Maya Jasanoff

"Any of these stories could make a great film or play, they are so full of passion, tragedy, violence, compassion, and religious fervor, and so vividly evoked; . . . Their human concerns, not unlike ours, melt seamlessly into the bizarre, almost unimaginable circumstances of their ritual life, and eventually we see that that,too, is quite human, that there is nothing weird at all about drinking
warm blood or pulling out your hair by the roots. Only a brilliant writer like Dalrymple could bring off this astonishing and unprecedented revelation of the humanity of people on the farthest extremes of religious ecstasy" --Wendy Doniger

"I was enchanted by these poignant and magical stories. By artfully weaving together travel, history, and legend--all without guile--he creates a compelling narrative, reminding us why India is one of the world's greatest story telling cultures, and why he is one of its greatest story tellers" --Gurcharan das

"Any book by William Dalrymple is good news, but a travel book after close to a decade calls for a dash to the bookshop instead of a click on Amazon. Nine Lives, Dalrymple's first travel book after two exhilarating expeditions into Indian history, is a risky enterprise.
It is difficult for anyone, let alone "Westerners", to write about Indian religious traditions without slithering into Orientalist, New Ageist or Hindutva tropes. It is even more risky to narrate Indian religious beliefs against the template of today's India, which is itself a half-mythical being in the throes of constant change. But Dalrymple has managed to do so, and with aplomb." --Tabish Khair, Hindustan Times

'His most ambitious yet, taking the reader into lurid, scarcely imaginable worlds of mysticism ... Dalrymple has an inimitable way of conjuring the Indian landscape' -- Financial Times

`This is travel writing at its best. I hope it sparks a revival' -- Observer

`Beautifully written, ridiculously erudite and, more than any of his previous work, reveals Dalrymple to be remarkably warm - and open-hearted ... a towering talent' -- The Times

`William Dalrymple's Nine Lives takes the charm and natural verve of City of Djinns, marries it to the intellectual and spiritual engagement of From the Holy Mountain, and brings it off with all the narrative skill developed in his history books, combined with his ever more profound understanding of India.' --Maya Jasanoff

'Full of passion, tragedy, violence, compassion, and religious fervor, and so vividly evoked...
Only a brilliant writer like Dalrymple could bring off this astonishing and unprecedented revelation of the humanity of people on the farthest extremes of religious ecstasy.' --Wendy Doniger

`I was enchanted by these poignant and magical stories. By artfully weaving together travel, history, and legend--all without guile--he creates a compelling narrative, reminding us why India is one of the world's greatest story telling cultures, and why he is one of its greatest story tellers.' --Gurcharan Das

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. City of Djinns won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. The Age of Kali won the French Prix D'Astrolabe and White Mughals won the Wolfson Prize for History 2003 and the Scottish Book of the Year Prize. His most recent book, The Last Mughal, was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. He lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Dehli.


81 customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

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