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Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
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San Francisco, CA 94102
Talks and Lectures

An Evening with Pico Iyer

Presented by the Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI).


Celebrated writer Pico Iyer discusses his recent books — including "A Beginner's Guide to Japan" — with Paula Arai and Robert Mintz.

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Join us for an evening with essayist, novelist, and travel writer Pico Iyer in conversation with Buddhist studies scholar-practitioner Paula Arai and Robert Mintz, scholar of Japanese art and deputy director, art & programs at the Asian Art Museum. In this event presented by the Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI), Iyer discusses two very different books, both published last year: “Autumn Light: Season of Fires and Farewells,” a moving meditation on impermanence, mortality, and loss following the death of his father-in-law and “A Beginner’s Guide To Japan,” a playful and profound glimpse into the culture of Japan, where Iyer has lived for over three decades.


Pico Iyer is one of today’s most revered and respected travel writers. He was born in England to Indian parents, raised in California, and educated at Eton, Oxford, and Harvard. He has published over a dozen works of nonfiction, two novels, and numerous essays and has been a contributor for more than 30 years to Time, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and over 200 other periodicals worldwide. Iyer splits his time between Nara, Japan, and the United States, where he spends part of each year in Santa Barbara and in a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur, California.  

Paula Arai, religious studies scholar at Louisiana State University, received her Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from Harvard University, specializing in Japanese Soto Zen. She is the author of “Painting Enlightenment: Healing Visions of the Heart Sutra–The Buddhist Art of Iwasaki Tsuneo,” “Women Living Zen: Japanese Buddhist Nuns,” and “Bringing Zen Home: The Healing Heart of Japanese Buddhist Women’s Rituals.”


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