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"The Half Known Life": Pico Iyer on the worldwide quest for happiness

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Pico Iyer is the bestselling author of more than a dozen books, which have been translated into 23 languages. His essays appear regularly in Time, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and more than 250 other periodicals worldwide. (Iyer photo (c) by Derek Shapton/cover art courtesy Penguin Random House)

Tom's guest today is Pico Iyer, who for more than 50 years has been acclaimed as a compelling, insightful and thoughtful writer. He has published widely as a journalist, and he’s written novels, but he is perhaps best known as a travel writer. He has journeyed to the far corners of the globe, and written with a deep sense of wonder, compassion, sensitivity and radiant kindness.

Since 1992, Iyer has divided his time between western Japan and a Benedictine hermitage in California.

Born in Oxford, England in 1957, Iyer was raised in England, India and the United States. He’s taught writing, literature and journalism at Harvard and Princeton. He’s been a columnist for Time Magazine. He’s published 15 books that have been translated into 23 languages. He’s given numerous TED Talks, which have been viewed more than 10 million times. In 2008, he published his biography of His Holiness the Dali Lama, with whom he has been close since he was a teenager.

Pico Iyer's latest book examines how different cultures conceive of, understand and pursue spiritual fulfillment, and the connection of different places to the quest for inner and outer peace.

It’s called The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise.

It's a poignant, persuasive and important book.

Pico Iyer joins us on Zoom from Santa Barbara, California.

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