City of Djinns is a travelogue on the historical city of Delhi, the Capital of India written by William Dalrymple. City of Djinns is more like a novel. It is his second book. Dalrymple wrote this book after living in Delhi for six years. This book won him the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and Sunday Times Young British Writer Of The Year Award in 1994.This book has also been made into a play. This book is non-fiction.
William Dalrymple is a Historian, Writer, Art Historian, Curator, Critic and a prominent Broadcaster. His books have won numerous awards. He is also the Co-founder and Co-director of Annual Jaipur Literature Festival.
I am a huge fan of his books and also a proud owner of his fantastic books. Some of his books which I love are Nine lives: In search of Sacred in Modern India, White Mughals, The Last Mughal and the City of Djinns. There is a list of his other books which I am planning to read very soon.
This is a perfect book, if you are planning to visit Delhi. I visited Delhi years ago, wish I had read this book then. City of Djinns is an amazing chronicle on Delhi.. It is like an encyclopaedia Of Delhi, Discovery of Delhi. There is more to Delhi than politics.
This book provides the reader historical perspectives behind various parts of Delhi. Some of the information You will not even get in school and College history books. Delhi is described from it’s birth till the contemporary times. It is not only about the history, monuments and architecture. It is also about the people of Delhi. From the Emperors of Olden times to the common people. I especially loved the way he brought old Delhi to life. He makes you fall in love with Delhi.
He has researched about Delhi extensively and passionately. He has unravelled the history of Delhi interestingly. Absolutely wonderful book for those who know Delhi and those who want to visit Delhi. City of Djinns is beautifully written, well researched, perfect blend of history, humour and people and amazing travel literature. I would love to recommend this book to all Dalrymple fans, history buffs, travellers, and Dilliwallas who want to know their Dilli better.
I would love to end my write-up with some of my favourite quotes from the book.
‘Whoever has built a new city in Delhi has always lost it: the Pandava brethren, Prithviraj Chauhan, Feroz Shah Tuglaq, Shah Jahan…They all built new cities and They all lost them. We were no exception.’
‘To the sick man sweet water tastes bitter in the mouth.’
‘On the road, as in many other aspects in Indian life, might is right.’
‘For all it’s faults we love this city. ‘Then, after a pause, she added: ‘After all, we built it.’
‘There was that all-pervasive evening scent of cut grass and Jasmine.’