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The Man Within My Head

New or Used: $26.89
New or Used: $26.89

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From one of our most astute observers, a haunting and unexpected investigation of the many voices he carries inside himself

About the Author

Pico Iyer is the author of six works of nonfiction and two novels. He has covered the Tibetan question for Time, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and many other publications for more than twenty years. He has been traveling in and around Tibetan communities and the Himalayas for more than thirty years.


***** He has written the work that those who love Greene (as I do) have dreamt of writing and, in doing it so well, absolved us of the need ... Humbling and moving ... The Man Within My Head is one of a handful of magical books that I have read straight through * Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph *
A virtuoso memoir ... A moving tribute to his real-life father concludes this triple memoire of three men mysteriously united by mutual obsessions and magically conjured by Iyer's power of imaginative analysis * Iain Finlayson, The Times *
A personal and passionate book ... Captivating and intelligent ... An eloquent and intelligent investigation into fathers and sons. It is a book that contains travel anecdotes, personal memoirs, literary criticism and, yes, biography and autobiography. And yet the result is none of the above, being instead one of those hard to categorise books that publishers resist, booksellers puzzle over but readers will surely love * Observer *
One of the unanticipated benefits of British rule in India is the body of distinguished writing in the English language coming from the Indian diaspora - Naipaul, Seth, Rushdie, Mistry, Mishra and Pico Iyer ... a global author * Spectator *
Exceptionally elegant and eloquent * New Statesman *
It is not only compellingly readable, but as telling about Greene as any biography yet published * Maggie Fergusson, Economist *
Vividly unusual memoir ... generous, thoughtful, without ego the book I wish I'd written ... Achieves a truly hard task, to make the writer's mediation become the reader's * Independent *
Through Greene's writing, Iyer accesses Greene himself, delivering to us a thoughtful and exquisitely rendered portrait of him * Guardian *
What at first seems a literary stratagem, an elegant framework for an affectionate but clear-eyed consideration of Graham Greene, proves to be something else, something rather more profound ... Moving ... at once memoir and meditation ... Iyer is brilliant in invoking out-of-the-way places in a few spare but telling strokes, as well as the wayward and forlorn figures who populate them - in this he is very much Greene's disciple * Times Literary Supplement *
Iyer is good on Greene's ambivalence towards faith and its relation to his own darkness ... He's good too on Greene's strange prissiness * John Preston, Sunday Telegraph *
In this elegantly elusive memoir, the text between the lines dares to explore the terrible simplicities of faith, love, compassion, trust that Greene's flawed characters constantly seek - and sometimes even find * Prospect *
Pico Iyer delights, weaving with scintillating intelligence and evident fondness a spell-binding tale of the 14th Dalai Lama's uncanny power on the world stage. The Open Road intertwines an insider's access to telling detail with a well-seasoned journalist's skeptical sensibility. This thoughtful, thought-provoking book will open readers' eyes. I couldn't put it down * Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence *

Graham Greene isn't the man essayist and novelist Iyer (Sun After Dark) would choose to take up residence in his head-"I would most likely fasten on someone more dashing, more decisive, less unsettled"-but it's his lifelong fascination with Greene that fuels this deeply personal journey that crisscrosses the world and his own past. As much a catalogue of Iyer's extensive travels as a musing on Greene's themes of foreignness, displacedness, and otherness, the text moves seamlessly between Iyer's days as a schoolboy in England and adventures in Bolivia, Ethiopia, and Cuba. For Iyer-who was born in England to India-born parents, moved to California at eight, but soon returned to the U.K. for boarding school-Greene's oft-repeated theme of the foreigner resonates deeply. Like an "adopted parent," Greene is forever by his side: a hotel in Saigon reminds him of The Quiet American, a seminal text for Iyer; his first trip to Cuba brings to mind the author; and even Iyer's old Oxford neighborhood is reminiscent of Greene, as his ex-wife lived nearby. As he explores his obsession, Iyer cautiously peels back the layers of his relationship with his own father, a brilliant philosopher whose belief in mysticism Iyer did not share. In the hands of a lesser writer, the dueling father figures would dissolve into melodrama, but Iyer weaves them brilliantly, reminding us that "we run from who we are.., only to discover, of course, that that is precisely what we can never put behind us." (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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