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The Lady and The Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto

The Lady and The Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto
Iyer Pico

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Monks who cherish Mickey Mouse and collect motorbikes, hardened businessmen who read love poetry and geishas who visit temples...Such was the paradoxical world that Pico Iyer was confronted with when he spent a year in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto. On a mission to learn the subtleties of Zen and to discover how much his romantic childhood dream of Japan reflects its reality, Iyer throws himself into a culture that is elusive and out of reach. Then he meets Sachiko. Elegant and refined, dreaming of rock stars and America, she embodies all that is contradictory about Japan and yet through their friendship, the country's fusion of ancient and modern, east and west, begins to make sense. Through Sachiko, Iyer begins to put aside his illusions of Japan and understand its reality. "The Lady and the Monk" is a many layered love story and a heartfelt portrait of Japan in all its beguiling complexity.

Author Info

Pico Iyer was born in Oxford in 1957, to Indian parents, and grew up partly in California. He has written eight books about the convergence of cultures, including Video Night in Katmandu, Falling off the Map, The Global Soul and, most recently, Sun After Dark. A frequent contributor to the Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement and many others, he now lives in Japan.


'...the first travel book on Japan I can remember reading that's actually made me want to go there.'
Time Out'

Evocative...a thoughtful book, full of quiet pleasures.'

A narrative that, in its richness, its complexity, its elegance and its vast contradictions, accurately reflects the culture that inspired it.'
Sunday Telegraph'

Lyrical...full of sharp and accurate insights.'
New York Times Book Review'

Iyer's richly layered portrait of the cultural complexity of Japanese society.'
Sunday Telegraph'

It will be read by every gaijin with recognition and amusement.'
Daily Yomiuri The Tablet, 2 September 2006'

A lyrical account...his descriptions are not only beautiful but funny...includes passages of extraordinary beauty and understanding.'
Mary Emma BaxterTHE BOOKSELLERI bought the lady and the monk to try to get some insight into Japan before going there, but I ended up being swept away by Iyer's lovely writing and the bittersweet story of the couple's tender translation of each other's culture and love.- Sarah MorrisonNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLEROne of their best ever travel books

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845112035
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2006

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