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William Dalrymple

speaker location icon Delhi, India

Scottish Historian Writer, Curator, Art Historian

Thomas Cook Travel Book Award-Winning Writer, the Hemingway Award-Winning Writer

Esteemed and Published Author Awarded for his contributions to "Understanding to Contemporary Islam"

William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian writer, curator, art historian and co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival. His interests include the history and art of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Muslim world, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Jains and early Eastern Christianity. An established and award-winning author, William has published many books, ranging from a book of essays about current affairs in the Indian Subcontinent and travel books. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages, and all eight of his books have won literary prizes. 

William is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, the New Statesman, and The New Yorker. He has written for Time magazine and since 2004, he has been the Indian Subcontinent correspondent of the New Statesman. In 2012, William was appointed a Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in the Humanities by Princeton University. In 2015, he was delegated as the OP Jindal Distinguished Lecturer at Brown University. Following this, in 2018, he was awarded the President’s Medal of the British Academy. His acclaimed books have won many awards and prizes, including the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Hemingway, the Kapuściński and the Wolfson Prizes. He has been five times longlisted and once shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. 

The television series, Stones of the Raj and Indian Journeys, which were written and presented by him, won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA in 2002. In 2008, William attended the Palestine Festival of Literature and gave readings and took upon workshops in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem. His book, Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India, became the number one slot in the Indian non-fiction section best-seller list. Since its esteemed publication, William has been touring the UK, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, Holland and the US with several feature guests in his book including: Sufis, Fakris, Bauls, Theveram hymn singers as well as a prison warder and a Theyyam dancer widely believed to be an incarnation of the God Vishnu. His book, The Anarchy, published in 2019, is a history of the Indian Subcontinent during 1739 to 1803, which saw the collapse of the Mughal imperial system, rise of the MAratha imperial confederacy, and the militarisation and rise of power of the East India Company.

William Dalrymple is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Geographical Society and of the Royal Asiatic Society, and is a founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, the Guardian, the TLS, and the New York Review of Books, and is the India correspondent of the New Statesman. In 2002, William was awarded the Mungo Park Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. This was for his ‘outstanding contribution to travel literature’. In 2005, he received the Sykes Medal from the Royal Society for Asian Affairs for his contribution “to understanding contemporary Islam.” In 2008, he won the James Todd Memorial Prize and in 2011, he was awarded the MEdia Citizen Puraskar by the Indian Confederation of NGOs for emphasizing on the issues of global importance and concern.

In Xanadu

City of Djinns

From the Holy Mountain

White Mughals

Nine Lives

The Last Mughal

Return of a King

Kohinoor: The Story of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond

The Anarchy

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