The Age of Kali


William Dalrymple, who wrote so magically about India in City of Djinns, returns to the country for a series of remarkable essays. Featured in the pages of Age of Kaliare fifteen-year-old guerrilla girls and dowager Maharanis; flashy Bombay drinks parties and violent village blood feuds; a group of vegetarian terrorists intent on destroying India’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and a palace where port and cigars are still carried to guest on a miniature silver steam train. In the course of his travels Dalrymple meets such figures as Imran Khan, Benazir Bhutto and Baba Sehgal, the Indian Gary Glitter; he witnesses the macabre nightly offering to the bloodthirsty goddess Parashakti – She Who is seated on a Throne of Five Corpses; he experiences caste massacres in the badlands of Bihar and dines with a drug baron on the North-West Frontier; he discovers such oddities as the terrorist apes of Jaipur (only brought to book when the municipality began impregnating their bananas with opium) and the shrine where Lord Krishna is said to make love every night to his 16,108 wives and his 64,732 milkmaids.


The Age of Kali Cover
Format: paperback
Publication Date: 21 July 1998
Publisher: HarperCollins
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Reviews and Quotes

Robert Twigger, Spectator
“William Dalrymple has superseded Mark Tully as the voice of India… He may well be the greatest travel writer of his generation.”
Harry Ritchie, Mail on Sunday
“Dalrymple is amazingly gifted… Not content with analysis, he is mad enough to interview many of the armed and dangerous people who are hell bent on leading India into the Age of Kali, the era of destruction and darkness. The result is reportage of the highest order… Brilliant and persuasively frightening.”
Michael Thompson-Noel, Financial Times Books of the Year
“The most admired young travel writer today is the industrious and preternaturally talented William Dalrymple, without whose presence all prize-lists seem grotesquely naked. With the Age of Kali he has pulled it off again… Witty and eagle-eyed, Dalrymple is, above everything, a fine observer and reporter.”