Nine Lives

Nine Lives

In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

Book - 2010
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"From the author of 'The Last Mughal" a mesmerizing book that illuminates the remarkable ways in which traditional forms of religious life in India have been transformed in the vortex of the region's rapid change--a book that distills the author's twenty-five years of travel of India. A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet--and spends the rest of his life atoning for the violence by hand printing the finest prayer flags in India ... A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her closest friend ritually starve herself to death ... A woman leaves her middle-class life in Calcutta and finds unexpected fulfillment living as a Tantric in an isolated, skull-filled cremation ground ... A prison warder from Kerala is worshipped as an incarnate deity for three months of every year... An idol carver, the twenty-third in a long line of sculptors, must reconcile himself to his son's desire to study computer engineering ... An illiterate goatherd from Rajasthan keeps alive in his memory an ancient four-thousand-stanza sacred epic ... A temple prostitute, who initially resisted her own initiation into sex work, pushes both her daughters into a trade she nonetheless regards as a sacred calling..."--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf, 2010.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780307272829
Call Number: 294.092 DALRYMPLE
Characteristics: xvii, 275 p. : maps ; 25 cm
Subjects: India -- Religious life and customs.
India -- Religion.
Tantrism -- India.
Hindus -- India.
Jains -- India.
Buddhists -- India.
Religious biography -- India.


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Jan 19, 2012

In one of the middle chapters, I found Dalrymple's facts to absurd. To bolster one of his points he claims that the literacy rate in the US is 77%. While different yardsticks are used to measure literacy, that figure is absurd. Both UNESCO and the CIA Factbook cite adult literacy at 99% in the US.

In the same chapter, Dalrymple upholds a source that claims New Yorkers viewed 9/11 as being akin to Diehard 5, or some similar nonsense. It's cheap offensive politicking on Dalrymple's part. This is a book on India!

After reading nonsense like the above, I began to get the sense that Dalrymple gets away with a lot because most of his readers are unfamiliar with the subject.

Sep 22, 2011

Did not read this book- I read
IN XANADU by the same author- his quest to follow Marco Polo-- I would rate it a 4.


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