Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East by Pico Iyer Mohawk haircuts in Bali. Yuppies in Hong Kong. In Bombay, not one but five Rambo rip-offs, complete with music and dancing. And in the People's Republic of China, a restaurant that serves dishes called "A Legitimate Beef" and "Ike and Tuna Turner." These are some of the images -- comic, poignant, unsettling -- that Iyer brings back from the Far East.
The Time writer approaches his subject with a camera-sharp eye and a willingness to go beyond the obvious conclusions about the hybrid cultures of the East and West.
"Quick-witted and perceptive -- something more than a deft and entertaining traveler's tale." (The New Yorker)Read More...Hide Pages: 428
Sun After Dark:Flights into the Foreign by Pico Iyer Pico Iyer,one of the most compelling and profoundly provocative travel writers,invites us to accompany him on an array of exotic explorations, from L.A. and Yemen to Haiti and Ethiopia, from a Bolivian prison to a hidden monastery in Tibet. He goes to Cambodia, where the main tourist attraction is a collection of skulls from the Khmer Rouge killing fields, and travels through southern Arabia in the weeks before September 11, 2001. He practices meditation with Leonard Cohen and discusses geopolitics with the Dalai Lama, travels to Easter Island and through the imaginative terrains of W. G. Sebald and Kazuo Ishiguro, weaving physical and psychological challenges together into a seamless narrative.
Throughout his travels, the familiar thrill of adventure is haunted by the unsettling questions that arise for Iyer everywhere he goes: How do we reconcile suffering with the sunlight often found around it? How does the foreign instruct the traveler, precisely by discomfiting him? And how does travel take us more deeply into reality, both within us and without? Intensely affecting, Iyer?s explorations are a road map of thinking in new ways about our changing world.Read More...Hide Pages: 223
Cuba and the Night: A Novel by Pico Iyer Having captivated readers with such gems of travel writing as Video Night in Kathmandu, Pico Iyer now presents a novel whose central character is another place: the melancholy, ebullient, and dazzlingly inconsistent island that is Castro's Cuba.Read More...Hide Pages: 256
Abandon by Pico Iyer John Macmillan is an Englishman in California studying Sufism, and in particular Rumi, the thirteenth-century Islamic mystic and at present the best-selling poet in America. Traveling to Damascus, he hears rumors of a secret, heretical manuscript that might have escaped from Iran during the chaos of its Revolution, and, taking a message back to California, ends up encountering Camilla Jensen, an open if somewhat wayward Californian, who seems in some way connected to the world of fugitive texts.
Following the trail of mystical poems through Spain and India to Iran, and trying to unravel the mystery that lies behind Camilla, John finds himself descending ever deeper into a world of passion and bewilderment. Then, suddenly, a manuscript appears, and Camilla disappears, leaving him closer to an understanding of some things, yet further from a real understanding of what is most important to him.Read More...Hide Pages: 356
Nehru: A Contemporary's Estimate by Walter Crocker
"Over two periods between 1952 and 1962 it was my job to watch Nehru day by day. Had may job in Delhi been anything else I would still have watched him, out of interest, almost helpless interest. He was interesting because of his political importance but still more interesting because of himself"- Walter Crocker
This book " Sums up Nehru the man, and Nehru the politician, better than any other work of scholarship I have read" Ramachandra Guha
The Finkler Question
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one...
Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik, a Czech always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.
Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment. It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you have less to mourn. Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends losses.And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30 pm, as Treslove, walking home, hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country, that he is attacked. And after this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.
The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.
Zoo Station by David Downing
Englishman John Russell is a member of the foreign press corps in Berlin and a first-hand witness to the brutal machinations of Hitler and the Nazi party in the build-up to war during the early months of 1939. Unlike many of his colleagues, Russell wishes to remain in Berlin for as long as possible to be close to his eleven-year-old son, who lives with his estranged German wife. When an old acquaintance turns up at his lodging house, Russell's life begins to change. Gradually, he is persuaded by a combination of threats, financial need and appeals to his conscience to become a spy - first for the Soviet Union and then, simultaneously, for the British.