Pico Iyer, well known for his travel writings and for his discourse on global society and culture, will be performing at Campbell Hall on Monday, May 19, to discuss his most recent book, The Open Road, which reflects on the ideas and leadership of his revered friend, the Dalai Lama, as a religious leader, politician and philosopher.

Born in Oxford, England, Iyer moved to California with his family at the age of seven and moved back and forth between his parents’ homes in England and in California. Iyer’s origins in writing stemmed from his widespread travels, which led to his work in travel writing. Since then, Iyer has traversed the globe extensively and has written seven non-fiction works as well as two fiction novels. He currently bases himself in Japan and part-time in Santa Barbara.

The author has written other influential and critically acclaimed books, including Sun After Dark, Abandon and The Global Soul. Iyer has been known to refer himself as “a global village on two legs,” claiming that he is “a multinational soul on a multinational globe.” In addition to writing books, Iyer writes countless articles a year for many magazines in various different countries, including Italy, Austria and Hong Kong, among many others. Iyer is also a regular essayist for Time magazine and has contributed before to the New York Times, National Geographic and other highly esteemed publications.

He has been known to address diverse political, social and cultural themes, ranging from literature to globalism to Asia and Buddhism, on which he is a dedicated observer. Furthermore, Iyer writes regularly on sports, film and religion and is primarily interested in the areas where mysticism and globalism intersect. Other points of interest for Iyer are the monastery and the airport, of which he has written broadly on in his literature.

The Utne Reader named Iyer one of the 100 “visionaries worldwide who could change your life,” while The New Yorker claimed that, “as a guide to far-flung places, Pico Iyer can hardly be surpassed.” Iyer’s infamous and insatiable curiosity and imagination are what propels him to travel the world in search of experience, connection and understanding. In doing so, he gains perspective and learns about himself through his encounters with different cultures and writes about it with an openness and infectious passion.