Pico Iyer was born in Oxford, England, to parents from India, in 1957, grew up in California and currently lives in Japan. He won a King's Scholarship to Eton and then a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where, graduating with a Congratulatory Double First in English, he received the highest marks of any student in the university. He went on to acquire a second Master's degree in literature at Harvard, where he taught literature and writing for two years.

He is the author of eight books: his first, Video Night in Kathmandu (1988), appeared on many lists of the top travel-books of the 20th century, and his second, The Lady and the Monk (1991), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in the category of Current Interest. His first novel, Cuba and the Night (1995), was optioned six times and then bought by Hollywood, and his book The Global Soul (2000) inspired multi-media shows, musical works and websites around the world. In addition, he has written a film-script for Miramax, initiated the Hart House Lecture series at the University of Toronto, helped name an internationally known soft drink and been a Fellow (twice) of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Since 1980 he has also written voluminously for magazines in America, Europe and Asia, publishing regular pieces on literature in The New York Review of Books, on globalism for Harper's and on films and music for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. A contributing editor to Salon, Conde Nast Traveler and Time, he has written essays, book and TV reviews and cover-stories on every continent for Time.

Festivals: 2001, 2008 (Year Round)

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