Shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize 2010. Winner of the 2010 Asia House Award for Asian Literature.
A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet - then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day.
"An absolutely beautiful book, clean and honest and edifying and moving. I love so much about it: a delight." (Elizabeth Gilbert)
"Dalrymple's study of people and beliefs in India ranks with the very finest travel writing.... A series of biographies which unpick the rich religious heritage of the subcontinent, it makes its political points more powerfully than any newspaper article and displays deep knowledge of the culture." (Observer)
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