Pico Iyer’s Autumn Light is a moving meditation on impermanence, morality and grief

Editor | Fiction

Lyrical, rooted and intimate, Autumn Light gives us a Japan we have seldom seen before, where the transparent and the mysterious are held in a delicate balance.

Returning to his long-time home in Japan after a sudden death, Pico Iyer picks up the steadying patterns of his everyday rites: going to the post office, watching the maples begin to blaze, engaging in furious games of ping-pong every evening. As he does so, he starts to unfold a meditation on changelessness that anyone can relate to: parents age, children scatter, and he and his wife turn to whatever can sustain them as everything falls away.

After his first year in Japan, almost thirty years ago, Iyer gave us a springtime romance for the ages, The Lady and the Monk; now, half a lifetime later, he shows us a more seasoned place—and observer—looking for what lasts in a life that feels ever more agile.

The author:

Pico Iyer is the author of ten works of non-fiction and two novels, translated into twenty-three languages. He recently gave three TED talks, and they have received more than eight million views so far.

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