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Pico Iyer

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January 22, 2012 | By Richard Rayner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Man Within My Head Pico Iyer Alfred A. Knopf: 256 pp., $25.95 Writers don't always get the critics and biographers they deserve, but since his death in 1991 Graham Greene has been on the whole pretty lucky. Norman Sherry completed his three-volume biography, a magnificent monument. National Book Award winner Shirley Hazzard wrote a sharply exquisite memoir of how she and her husband, the biographer Francis Steegmuller, got to know Greene on the isle of Capri, where Greene lived some months of each year during the 1950s and 1960s.
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October 17, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Boston was a rough-and-tumble city when I knew it in my teens and early 20s. It was, as Seth Mnookin suggests in “Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love” (Mariner: 354 pp., $16 paper), defined by “the Combat Zone and Filene's Basement and the old un-air-conditioned Garden.”  Such landmarks appear throughout “Our Boston,” although the book is inspired by a more tragic, and more recent, bit of history: the bombings that shook the Boston Marathon earlier this year.
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August 13, 1989 | CHARLES SOLOMON
When Pico Iyer began traveling in Asia, he planned to chronicle the increasing Westernization of the continent's ancient cultures. He discovered that while America remains the model of the good, materialistic, modern life, the East is overtaking the West, absorbing and transforming its ideas and products--and, often, selling them back in new guises.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2012 | By Richard Rayner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Man Within My Head Pico Iyer Alfred A. Knopf: 256 pp., $25.95 Writers don't always get the critics and biographers they deserve, but since his death in 1991 Graham Greene has been on the whole pretty lucky. Norman Sherry completed his three-volume biography, a magnificent monument. National Book Award winner Shirley Hazzard wrote a sharply exquisite memoir of how she and her husband, the biographer Francis Steegmuller, got to know Greene on the isle of Capri, where Greene lived some months of each year during the 1950s and 1960s.
BOOKS
October 13, 1991 | Alex Gibney, Gibney is the executive producer of "The Pacific Century," a 10-part television series to be broadcast on PBS in 1992
The news from Japan is a relentless montage of economic stories--scandals at Nomura Securities, new engines from Honda, a takeover by Matsushita, government ministry concerns about karoshi , death from overwork. It is a relief to find that Pico Iyer's new book, "The Lady and the Monk," dwells on none of these things. At a time when Americans are obsessed with Japan's economic might, Iyer's book is about his own quest for a more ancient land of monks, rock gardens and paper lanterns.
BOOKS
May 8, 1988 | Sharon Dirlam, Dirlam is a Times staff writer. and
Born in England of Indian parents, educated at Oxford and Harvard, and living in California, Pico Iyer probably has an ideal background from which to launch a search for East-meets-West anomalies. First and foremost, Iyer is a very bright observer--bright, refreshing, enthusiastic, reverent, gullible, touching and intelligent. He must have a wonderful time traveling around, interviewing people, taking notes and trying to make sense of the world as he finds it.
BOOKS
May 30, 1993 | Kevin Coyne, Coyne is the author of "A Day in the Night of America" (Random House)
In the globalizing 1990s--in an age when the shrinking modern world seems in danger of robbing travel, and by extension travel writing, of its power to surprise--the question you need to ask of your travel writers is: If they go to Iceland, do they know who the Sugarcubes are?
BOOKS
June 11, 1995 | Andrew Coe, Andrew Coe is the author of the new "Passport Guide to Cuba" (NTC) and a recent article in the Los Angeles Times Magazine on the Cuban numbers racket
Havana is a sad place. The streets are potholed and strewn with garbage, the buildings dilapidated and propped up with planks. Every so often one comes crashing down with a whoosh of dust and noise. Its inhabitants' hopes and dreams have crumbled along with its buildings. The economy is in free fall, while the ideologically bankrupt political system is as repressive as ever. Cubans have nothing to do but mark time until the arrival of an uncertain future.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2003 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
Pico Iyer's neighbors in the quiet suburb of Kyoto, Japan, call him "Isoro," which means parasite. This is because he is the only grown man in the neighborhood who doesn't get up and go out to work to support the family. John Cheever, the story goes, had a similar problem on the other side of the world. He used to leave his Manhattan apartment in suit and hat, ride down the elevator with the other dads and then go to the basement, where he wrote all day in a storage area. Writers.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2012 | By Pico Iyer, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"Your sentences are so long," said a friend who teaches English at a local college, and I could tell she didn't quite mean it as a compliment. The copy editor who painstakingly went through my most recent book often put yellow dashes on-screen around my multiplying clauses, to ask if I didn't want to break up my sentences or put less material in every one. Both responses couldn't have been kinder or more considered, but what my friend and my colleague may...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2009 | By Pico Iyer >>>
It was already clear, in December of 1999, that books were a dying species. Already more people seemed interested in producing novels than consuming them, and when it came to serious works, there seemed more fascination with the writer than the writing. Books, I heard from two serious, bewildered editors in New York on the same trip, were now part of the "entertainment industry," and a first-time novelist was as likely to be judged on the power of his author photo as on the character of his content.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 2009 | Janet Kinosian, Kinosian is a freelance critic.
If Nobel laureate Toni Morrison edits a collection of famous writers on the subject of censorship and the power of the written word, wouldn't you expect a firecracker read? After all, what better lightning-rod topic exists for writers than the threat of shutting off their computers?
BOOKS
April 13, 2008 | Jonathan Kirsch, Jonathan Kirsch's next book, due out this fall, is "The Grand Inquisitor's Manual: A History of Terror in the Name of God."
"THE pope?" Josef Stalin once asked a Western diplomat, according to a cherished tale preserved in countless history books. "How many divisions has he got?" Now that the long-simmering conflict between Tibet and China is boiling up again, the same question is surely being asked these days in Beijing about the Dalai Lama.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2004 | Kai Maristed, Special to The Times
Travel writing is a hardy genre. Despite being belittled by some highbrows, it is as much a Darwinian survivor as the beggars and brigands, geographic and archeological features travel writers seek out to celebrate. Does the genre persist and thrive because of the prodigious talents -- De Tocqueville, Melville, Stevenson, Twain, Greene, to mention a handful -- who have been drawn to the exercise?
BOOKS
February 23, 2003 | Jeff Turrentine, Jeff Turrentine is an essayist and critic whose work has appeared in Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, Architectural Digest and Slate.com.
Look up the word "mystery" in any good dictionary, and you'll find a definition that has been effectively pushed aside over the centuries by conventional usage: "a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand." Webster's Ninth New Collegiate, for example, makes mention of the Assumption of Mary, the Eucharist and even the secret rites of certain Eleusinian and Mithraic cults before proffering definitions dealing with crime fiction or everyday inscrutability.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Boston was a rough-and-tumble city when I knew it in my teens and early 20s. It was, as Seth Mnookin suggests in “Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love” (Mariner: 354 pp., $16 paper), defined by “the Combat Zone and Filene's Basement and the old un-air-conditioned Garden.”  Such landmarks appear throughout “Our Boston,” although the book is inspired by a more tragic, and more recent, bit of history: the bombings that shook the Boston Marathon earlier this year.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2009 | By Pico Iyer >>>
It was already clear, in December of 1999, that books were a dying species. Already more people seemed interested in producing novels than consuming them, and when it came to serious works, there seemed more fascination with the writer than the writing. Books, I heard from two serious, bewildered editors in New York on the same trip, were now part of the "entertainment industry," and a first-time novelist was as likely to be judged on the power of his author photo as on the character of his content.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2003 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
Pico Iyer's neighbors in the quiet suburb of Kyoto, Japan, call him "Isoro," which means parasite. This is because he is the only grown man in the neighborhood who doesn't get up and go out to work to support the family. John Cheever, the story goes, had a similar problem on the other side of the world. He used to leave his Manhattan apartment in suit and hat, ride down the elevator with the other dads and then go to the basement, where he wrote all day in a storage area. Writers.
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