‘Could you show me a djinn?’ I asked. ‘Certainly,’ replied the Sufi. ‘But you would run away.’
From the author of the Samuel Johnson Prize-shortlisted ‘The Return of a King’, this is William Dalrymple’s captivating memoir of a year spent in Delhi, a city watched over and protected by the mischievous invisible djinns. Lodging with the beady-eyed Mrs Puri and encountering an extraordinary array of characters – from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj – William Dalrymple comes to know the bewildering city intimately.
He pursues Delhi’s interlacing layers of history along narrow alleys and broad boulevards, brilliantly conveying its intoxicating mix of mysticism and mayhem.
‘City of Djinns’ is an astonishing and sensitive portrait of a city, and confirms William Dalrymple as one of the most compelling explorers of India’s past and present.
‘Delightful … Surely one of the funniest books about India’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Scholarly and marvellously entertaining … a considerable feat’ Dervla Murphy, Spectator
‘Dalrymple has pulled it off again’ Jan Morris, Independent
About the author
William Dalrymple’s first book, ‘In Xanadu’, won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award. His second, ‘City of Djinns’, won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. His third, ‘From the Holy Mountain’, was awarded the Scottish Arts Council Autumn Book Award and shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. He has also published a collection of his pieces about India, ‘The Age of Kali’, and three history books: ‘White Mughals’, which won the Wolfson Prize, ‘The Last Mughal’, which won the Duff Cooper Prize, and ‘Nine Lives’, which won the Asia House Literary Award.