Pico Iyer on Dalai Lama, Tibet, China and CommunismBy kamla bhatt • Sep 16th, 2009
Category: Bangalore, Books and Authors, Diaspora, Entertainment, Featured, India, People, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, USA
March 9, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary since the Dalai Lama left China and came to India. After a failed uprising against the Chinese Government the young Dalai Lama along with his followers left Lhasa in 1959 and travelled to India and settled down in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Pico Iyer is a well-known author and essayist. His book about the 14th Dalai Lama The Open Road: The Global Journey of the 14th Dalai Lama published in 2008 has received excellent reviews.
“In The Open Road, Pico Iyer transcends his celebrated excellence as a travel writer,” comments Peter Matthiessen, while the Economist writes that Pico has “an access and insight into the Dalai Lama that lifts his writing above the clichÃ©s that normally surround him.”
Pico has been in constant touch with the Dalai Lama for about 30 years. Pico first met the Dalai Lama through his father Prof. Raghavan N. Iyer, who taught at Oxford and University of California in Santa Barbara. In 1960 Prof. Iyer sailed from England to India to meet with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
In the midst of his hectic book tour schedule Pico graciously made time to do an hour-long interview where he spoke about his new book, writing process, travels and growing up in England and California and about life in Japan. Pico has been living in Japan for the past several years.
In Part-1 of the conversation Pico talks about his new book about the Dalai Lama, his perceptions of Buddhism and Communism, and how this book is a homage to the memory of his father. How did Pico come up with the idea of writing a book on the Dalai Lama?
What does the Dalai Lama have to say about Tibet and Tibet’s future? Is there a happy ending to the Tibet question? Tune in to find out what Pico has to say.
This interview was recorded in 2008.
Photo: Courtesy Knopf Publishing