Pico Iyer: world traveler and literary superstar

Pico Iyer: world traveler and literary superstar

Indian Summer Festival is thrilled to have Pico Iyer as one of our literary headliners for the 2019 edition, “Tricksters, Oracles & Magicians.”

Pico Iyer was born in Oxford, England in 1957, to parents from India, and educated at Eton, Oxford, and Harvard.

Life changing experience

Iyer’s family home in Santa Barbara burned down due to a wildfire in 1990. This changed his idea of home and became one of the main subjects for his books and talks. “For more and more of us, home has really less to do with a piece of soil, than you could say, with a piece of soul,” he says in one of his most famous TED Talks.

Books & Talks

Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and thirteen works of non-fiction on subjects ranging from the Cuban Revolution to Islamic mysticism, Graham Greene to Canadian visions of diversity, forgotten nations to the 21st-century global order.

An essayist for Time since 1986, he is a constant contributor to The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s and more than 200 other newspapers and magazines worldwide, and he has published introductions to 70 other works.

His books have been translated into 23 languages and both his 2008 meditation on the XIVth Dalai Lama, The Open Road, and his TED Book, The Art of Stillness, are best-sellers.

Between 2012 and 2016, Pico Iyer delivered three talks for TED, and between them, they have received more than 7 million views. He has also written many liner-notes for Leonard Cohen, the first Hart House Lecture in Toronto and a screenplay for Miramax.

Media & Awards

In recent years he has been featured in program-length interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Krista Tippett, NHK World, and many others, and he was once a face of Incredible India in its CNN television campaign. Iyer’s work has been recognized widely, notably as a  Guggenheim Fellow, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Catch Pico Iyer’s ideas and reflections at  Indian Summer Festival 2019 at the following events:

5×15  – July 5 | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

The festival plays host for the fifth year running to the only Canadian edition of this ever-popular international speakers series. 5×15 features five eclectic artists who will speak for fifteen minutes, unscripted, on a topic they are deeply passionate about. This year’s all-star lineup will include literary ‘Global Soul’ Pico Iyer, Trickster trilogy titan Eden Robinson, and literary bluesman Arthur Flowers.

Pico Iyer on Life, Love and Mortality – July 7 | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Writer, world-traveller and TED sensation Pico Iyer has spent his life answering the great questions of humankind. Whether in three decades of conversations with the Dalai Lama, or his sleeve notes for Leonard Cohen, Pico Iyer’s voice has always been a place of stillness in the whirlwind of the world. At Indian Summer he invites audiences to meditate on the age old question ‘what does it mean to be alive? And how do we hold onto the beings we love, even though we know we and they must come to an end one day?’

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