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Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by William Dalrymple

Nine Lives tells the story of nine different people in India, all clinging to ancient mysticism or religious rituals. These include a goatherd from Rajasthan who keeps alive an ancient four-thousand-stanza sacred epic in his memory, a sex worker dedicated as a girl to the goddess Yellama and who wants to bring her daughters into the trade, a low-caste prison warden who is worshipped as an incarnate deity for three months of every year, an idol carver, from a 700-year line of sculptors, whose son wants to be a computer engineer, and a Buddhist monk who took up arms against the Chinese and now hand prints prayer flags as penance. William Dalrymple's book has received mostly positive reviews with the Christian Science Monitor saying, "Much of this book is in reported speech with the frame provided by the author's lyrical descriptions of the Indian landscape and deceptively simple explanations of the historical and social context. It's a technique unusual in American nonfiction narrative, but one that serves its subjects beautifully."
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Buy Nine Lives by William Dalrymple
Christian Science Monitor review
by Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar

The Observer review
by Ruaridh Nicoll

San Francisco Chronicle review
by Jonathan Sidhu

The Independent review
by Salil Tripathi

Seattle Times review
by Mary Ann Gwinn

London Times review
by Brian Schofield

Wall Street Journal review
by Robert Messenger

The Guardian review
by Hirsh Sawhney

New York Times review
by Colin Thubron

William Dalrymple
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