British Library Japan Season Event: 'Pico Iyer's Japan' n


British Library Japan Season Event: 'Pico Iyer's Japan'

Author and journalist Pico Iyer in conversation with Lesley Downer

This is an online event hosted by Unique Media. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

Born in England and based in western Japan for 33 years, Pico Iyer talks about the changes, the changelessness and the paradoxes of his adopted home, as reflected in his recent works Autumn Light and A Beginner’s Guide to Japan.

Pico Iyer is an essayist and novelist, often known for his travel writing. He was born in Oxford, England, to parents from India, raised in California and educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard. Since 1987 he has been based in Western Japan, while traveling everywhere from Bhutan to Easter Island, North Korea to Los Angeles Airport. Apart from the two novels and ten works of non-fiction he has published – from Video Night in Kathmandu, and The Lady and the Monk to The Global Soul, and The Art of Stillness – he has written the introductions to more than 50 other books, as well as screenplays, librettos and many liner-notes for Leonard Cohen. He speaks regularly everywhere from West Point to Davos and Shanghai to Bogota and his four talks for TED have received more than nine million views so far.

Lesley Downer is the daughter of a Chinese mother and Canadian father and was educated at Oxford and SOAS. She is a journalist, author, Japan specialist and inveterate traveler. Her books include Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World, Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West and four novels, The Shogun Quartet, set during Japan’s mid-nineteenth century civil war. She has written for the Sunday Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal and FT and contributes to the Spectator US and TLS. Lesley gives frequent lectures plus TV and radio appearances and is a consultant on all things Japan. She presented Journey to a Lost Japan on Channel 4, lectured on The World, a vast residential ship, and recently lectured in Japan in Japanese. She was the historical consultant for Northern Ballet’s spectacular 2020 ballet Geisha and features in the Netflix series Age of Samurai.

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