Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
From the author of The Last Mughal, an enlightening book that explores with remarkable compassion and expansive insight nine varieties of religious devotion in India today.In portraits of people we might otherwise never know William Dalrymple distills his twenty-five years of travel in India to... show more
From the author of The Last Mughal, an enlightening book that explores with remarkable compassion and expansive insight nine varieties of religious devotion in India today.In portraits of people we might otherwise never know William Dalrymple distills his twenty-five years of travel in India to explore the challenges faced by practitioners of traditional forms of faith in contemporary India. For two months a year, a man in Kerala divides his time between jobs as a prison warden and a well-builder and his calling as an incarnate deity. A temple prostitute watches her two daughters die from AIDS after entering a trade she regards as a sacred calling. A Jain nun recalls the pain of watching her closest friend ritually starve herself to death.Together, these tales reveal the resilience of individuals in the face of the relentless onslaught of modernity, the enduring legacy of tradition, and the hope and honor that can be found even in the most unlikely places.
Publish date: June 14th 2011
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
This is a fascinating book, in which the author captures nine particularly compelling stories of lives defined by religion in India, generally in unusual or extreme ways. The most intense stories come at the beginning: the Jain nun who ritually starves herself to death while her best friend looks on...
bookshelves: summer-2015, hardback, history, author-love, subcontinent, tbr-busting-2015, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, palate-cleanser, india, nonfiction, published-2009, travel, philosophy, religion, superstitions, mythology, anthropology, nowt-as-queer-as-folk, suicide, lifestyles-deathstyles, d...
This book is absolutely brilliant. Dalrymple takes a socio-cultural and anthological look at some very diverse and non-mainstream forms of religious practice and spiritual pursuit in India. What Dalrymple has done, in a single book, is amazing. If you're interested in learning about how religion mig...
I just finished re-reading this amazing book--here's my original review from 2011: The religions most of us are familiar with have been largely standardized and homogenized, but obviously this wasn’t always so. Like languages before the advent of writing, earlier versions of even the same religion...
I think I have a typical American viewpoint of India - romanticized by folkore and Bollywood with a drop or two of actual knowledge. I was probably hoping this book would give me a little more insight as to how the many changes in our new global society has changed the traditions of an ancient cultu...