Each of his books have been bestsellers. Despite that, William Dalrymple doesn’t like people calling him a successful ‘novelist’. He’d rather people call him a ‘non-fiction writer'.
Dalrymple first came to India as a young traveler in 1984 and was fascinated by the sights and sounds of the country. Since then he has made India his home. His latest book Nine Lives, which released late last year, has been another bestseller. Within the first two weeks of its release 35,000 copies were sold in India, the fastest in this country. “For the first time ever I sold faster in India than Britain, which is very nice. If I write about India and Indians don’t recognise that, there’s a problem. It feels wonderful that now I am making a good living as a writer, writing about India. There is a big market for books about India.
However, Dalrymple also feels that there is a dearth of quality travel writing emerging out of India. “Much of the best of Indian writing is happening by NRIs. If I name the top five travel books written by Indian authors, almost all of them reside outside India. Examples being Suketu Mehta, VS Naipul, Amitav Ghosh, Pankaj Mishra and Vikram Seth,” he says.
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