Siddharth Pico Raghavan Iyer (b.1957) is a British-born essayist and novelist of Indian origin, best known for his travel and cross-cultural writing.
Iyer was born in Oxford, England, to parents who were academics and scholars. He attended Oxford’s Eton College and then received his second master’s in literature at Harvard, where he wrote for a budget travel guidebook during the summers. He taught writing and literature at Harvard before joining Time in 1982 as a writer on world affairs.
Iyer has traveled widely and written ten works of non-fiction and two novels, including Video Night in Kathmandu (1988,) The Lady and the Monk (1991,,) The Global Soul (2000,) The Man Within My Head (2012,) and The Art of Stillness (2014.) Iyer’s essays frequently appear in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and many other publications worldwide.
Since 1992, Pico Iyer lives a simple near Nara, Japan, with his Japanese wife, Hiroko Takeuchi, and her two children from an earlier marriage. He spends part of each year among the Benedictine monks near the little town of Lucia in California’s Big Sur. He once said of the monastic way of life in the New Camaldoli Hermitage, “I’ve never discovered a place as transforming and as radiant.”
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those who have seen America only in their dreams.