Fresh from 'Nine Lives', which he describes as his first true discovery of Hindu India, William Dalrymple believes the book that made India his largest market for the first time, is in a way a test of the authenticity of his writings on 'desi' subjects.
Dalrymple, whose book has been a bestseller since it came out last year, says he thought the subject of 'Nine Lives' was the most difficult to sell to a desi audience.
However, the book that dealt with sacred stories in a modern India and marked Dalrymple's return to travel writing, became the first one for him to sell far more copies in India than in Britain.
"India became my largest market with this book, may be because of the relationship with the subject, but it was real Indian subject and I would have been worried if it had done well only in the West," Dalrymple told PTI in an interview.
"I mean if it had done well in the West...And had been regarded as inauthentic by Indians then I would really be worried," he said.
By that yard, the extraordinary response of Indians was a pleasant surprise, he says, may be because "this was not a very familiar subject with a person living in Sheffield".
Though the promotion spree of the book is going to continue for another six months, Dalrymple is toying with a range of ideas to narrow down on the subject he would take up next.