Delhi never fails to capture the imagination. The city has been torn down and rebuilt countless times; it has seen the opulence and grandeur of the Mughals, the control of the British Raj, and survived and thrived through the tenuous birth of the world's largest democracy. William Dalrymple, acclaimed South Asia historian and writer, takes us through a year living in India's capital and conjures for readers the vibrant scenes of an ever changing city. Mughal monuments, some long abandoned and others still used by the city's substantial Muslim population, stand side by side with cell phone shops and Sikh and Hindu temples. Dalrymple spends his year exploring the intersection of modernity and history in this place said to be guarded by Djinns -spirits fashioned from fire. A talented writer, he seamlessly weaves tales from his experiences in Delhi with historical accounts of the city. His attachment to Delhi is clear and his passion is contagious. Speaking on his first encounter with the city Dalrymple says, "From the very beginning I was mesmerized by the great capital, so totally unlike anything I had ever seen before. Delhi...was full of riches and horrors: it was a labyrinth, a city of palaces, an open gutter, filtered light through a filigree lattice, a landscape of domes, an anarchy, a press of people, a choke of fumes, a whiff of spice." With City of Djinns readers will feel they too are traveling through the fascinating city and come to understand the unique allure of Delhi. Click here for a complete list of works by William Dalrymple.
Submitted by Kristina@MPL Central