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One on One

With Pico Iyer
Hosted by Peter Schneider

One on One

With Pico Iyer
Hosted by Peter Schneider
Pico Iyer - Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

Don’t miss this incredible conversation with Pico Iyer. "Arguably the world's greatest living travel writer" (Outside). His two most recent books, Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells and A Beginner's Guide to Japan offer incredible insight into the country of Japan but also into our relationship with ourselves and those around us.


Returning to his longtime home in Japan after his father-in-law’s sudden death,  in Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells, Pico Iyer picks up the steadying patterns of his everyday rites: going to the post office and engaging in furious games of ping-pong every evening. But in a country whose calendar is marked with occasions honoring the dead, he comes to reflect on changelessness in ways that anyone can relate to: parents age, children scatter, and Iyer and his wife turn to whatever can sustain them as everything falls away. As the maple leaves begin to turn and the heat begins to soften, Iyer shows us a Japan we have seldom seen before, where the transparent and the mysterious are held in a delicate balance, and where autumn reminds us to take nothing for granted.


After thirty-two years in Japan, Pico Iyer can use everything from anime to Oscar Wilde to show how his adopted home is both hauntingly familiar and the strangest place on earth. He draws on readings, reflections, and conversations with Japanese friends to illuminate an unknown place for newcomers, and to give longtime residents a look at their home through fresh eyes. 


 A Beginner's Guide to Japan is a playful and profound guidebook full of surprising, brief, incisive glimpses into Japanese culture. Iyer's adventures and observations as he travels from a meditation-hall to a love-hotel, from West Point to Kyoto Station, make for a constantly surprising series of provocations guaranteed to pique the interest and curiosity of those who don't know Japan, and to remind those who do of the wide range of fascinations the country and culture contain.


Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.


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