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Colin ThubronIn his introduction, Dalrymple says he yearns for his narratives to be free of authorial interference. But of course that can't be. He not only creates their framework but inevitably, if unobtrusively, steers his interviews to the areas of his own interest. Yet these will be the areas of most readers' interest too. The narratives Dalrymple unearths are fascinating and sometimes painfully moving, and he surrounds them with generous knowledge. This is the India we seldom see, populated by obscure people whose lives are made vivid by their eloquent troubles and reckless piety.
—The New York Times