City of Djinns: AYear In Delhi by William Dalrymple is the author’s second book. The book is atravelogue but it has been written more like a novel. It is interspersed withstories and anecdotes from the six years the author spent in Delhi with hiswife. The stories revolve around their interactions with the various people inthe city, like the customs officials, their cleaning lady, and their Sikhlandlady and taxi drivers. The presentation of these stories elucidates why theauthor calls Delhi a bottomless sea of stories.
The composition of City of Djinns: A Year In Delhi is unique.The history of the city has been documented backwards. Starting from 1984riots, William Dalrymple works his way backward to the partition problems in1947, the mutiny against the British Raj in 1857 and eventually to Indraprasthaand the Pandavas.
Not just a humorous account of his life in Delhi, City ofDjinns: A Year In Delhi is a record of the author’s efforts to explore thecity’s mysterious past. He records facets of the city that have been hidden forso long that even the residents have forgotten about them. The book gives a newlease of life to the famous historical structures of Delhi, like the Red Fortand the Parliament buildings.