Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

4.0 6
by William Dalrymple
     
 

ISBN-10: 0307272826

ISBN-13: 9780307272829

Pub. Date: 06/15/2010

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307272829
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 6.76(h) x 1.17(d)

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Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
shaig More than 1 year ago
Synopsis This book, much like the title suggests, tells the separate stories of nine different religious individuals in modern India. Unlike other travel books, the author emphasizes the life story and experiences of those he encounters and much less speaks of his own expeditions. The many diverse and unique religions practices in India allow for ample curiosity, especially to western readers who are less familiar with them. The author, after introducing a special religious devotee, retells their story from their perspective in a riveting manner. The reader is swept into this new and fascinating world of devotion and worship. Often shocking and astonishing, the stories are also very moving and heartbreaking. Opinion The book contains many difficult terms to comprehend and many hard words to pronounce. This fact may obstruct the natural reading flow one is used to. However, if you are able to overlook these difficulties, the book is enchanting. The anthropological and religious mixtures give an added flavor and texture. The fact that many people are now extremely interested in modern India could add to the book's commercial success. The book itself is well written and the characters in it are likable and relatable. The religious aspect is also intriguing and may shed light on less familiar religions and beliefs thus hopefully invoking compassion and understanding towards others, and most importantly eradicating bigotry, prejudice and hatred. Grade: 9/10
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stories as rich and colorful as India itself. Dalrymple is one of the best non-fiction writers I've ever read. If you're interested in Eastern religion, you're sure to love this book.
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Suzie_BookAuthor More than 1 year ago
I have lived in India. I inhaled the air at higher altitudes in the Himalayas, and wondered if oxygen deprivation causes this deeper awareness and spirituality. But then everything is heavily laden with spirituality up there, every rock, every tree, every drop of water is pregnant with a rich history. I have watched the sadhus walk by on pilgrimages of one sort or another. After a brief glimpse of curiosity at each other, we moved on to our appointed destinies, each regarding the other as irrelevent in the greater scheme of the Universe. But not so for Mr. Dalrymple. He delved deeper. He noted their humbleness as having just as legitimate place as yours or mine in the Universe, and he did it with a wonderful writing style. He flooded me with memories of all the things I missed that he captured so well on the journey. And if you haven't made such journies, you will feel enriched for reading this book and taking the journey through this very competant author's pages.It's almost like being there. Well done, William Dalrymple. You are a truly gifted author.