William Dalrymple could have a green finger. His books have always remained bestsellers in a world where fiction often overtakes the sweepstakes. Dalrymple’s latest offering Nine Lives again reinforces his stature as an eminent writer, one who has been able to combine telling a story with history as the backdrop.
But Nine Lives is a departure from his usual offerings. “I always wanted to write about religion in India. The idea came to me 16 years ago. But the book is not about any -ism,” emphasises Dalrymple. “Its more about the characters: a Buddhist monk, a Jain nun, a Baul singer. And since it is their stories I did not need to put myself in it,” said Dalrymple. Meanwhile he’s pretty chuffed about White Mughals being made into a film. “It’s still in the developmental stages - that’s been five years now - but I’m told that’s normal in the world of movies.”