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CITY OF DJINNS:
A Year in Delhi

Authors: William Dalrymple, Olivia Fraser

Watched over and protected by the mischievous, invisible djinns -- fire-formed spirits that are said to assure the city's Phoenix-like regeneration -- 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 book is a unique and dazzling feat of research. Over the course of a year he comes to know the bewildering city intimately, and conveys its magical nature, peeling back successive layers of history, and interlacing innumerable stories from Delhi’s past and present.

Full of wit, City of Djinns explores the seven "dead" cities of Delhi as well as the eighth city-today's Delhi. Entertaining, fascinating, and informative, City of Djinns is a delightful blend of research and adventure.

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 (Olivia Fraser) 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.
$15.00 (softcover)
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