Author Talk: Pico Iyer


Pico Iyer reads an excerpt from The Global Soul.


Pico Iyer in conversation with Larry Habegger.


Pico Iyer is the author of many books including Sun After Dark, The Global Soul, Tropical Classical, Falling Off the Map, The Lady and the Monk, Video Night in Kathmandu, and the novels Abandon and Cuba and the Night. He considers himself "a global village on two legs" and he views the world from the perspective of a global citizen. His work has appeared in publications such as TIME, Harper's, Condé Nast Traveler, New York Review of Books, and others. The Utne Reader has lauded him as "elevating travel reportage to new heights" and the Los Angeles Times has called him travel writing's "rightful heir to Jan Morris and Paul Theroux."

Travelers' Tales Executive Editor Larry Habegger caught up with him recently from his home in Santa Barbara, California.

Pico Iyer's Books

Sun After DarkThe Global Soul by Pico Iyer Tropical Classical by Pico IyerFalling Off the Map by Pico Iyer
Sun After DarkThe Global SoulTropical ClassicalFalling Off The Map
Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico IyerThe Lady and the Monk by Pico Iyer Abandon by Pico IyerCuba and the Night by Pico Iyer
Video Night in KathmanduThe Lady and the MonkAbandonCuba and the Night

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News & Opinion (updated June 5, 2008)

100 Places Wins Latino Book Award
Stephanie Elizondo Griest's 100 Places Every Woman Should Go won the award for Best Travel Book (English) in the 10th Annual International Latino Book Awards announced May 29 at Book Expo America (BEA) in Los Angeles. Check out a sample chapter to find out why.

Manhattan's Bryant Park is the place to be
June 5, 2008: Several years ago I discovered Bryant Park just off Times Square and made a point of visiting whenever I was in New York. One visit I got caught in quite a thunderstorm. And just today I saw this story in The New York Times about the park being threatened by its success. Get there early and stake out your territory!
Posted by Larry Habegger

TT Wins Awards
Three TT books have won awards in the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Encounters with the Middle East: True Stories of People and Culture that Help You Understand the Region edited by Nesreen Khashan and Jim Bowman won the Gold Award in the Current Events category and was a Finalist in the Travel/Travel Guide category. Antarctica: Life on the Ice edited by Susan Fox Rogers won the Gold Award in the Action/Adventure category and was a Finalist in the Nature/Environment category. And More Sand in My Bra edited by Julia Weiler and Jennifer L. Leo won the Gold Award in the Humor/Comedy category and was a Finalist in the Entertainment category.

Middle East Encounters TeleWebcast
Encounters with the Middle East editors Nesreen Khashan and Jim Bowman, contributors Waleed al-Shamma', Michael McGhee, Erika Smith, and host Cheryl McLaughlin had a stimulating and insightful discussion about the Middle East on a telewebcast, "Understanding the Middle East: Its People, Culture, and the Region" on March 20. You can still hear the discussion online at

Second Annual Solas Awards Winners
Winners of the Second Annual Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year were announced February 29, 2008 by the editors of Travelers’ Tales. Grand Prize winner Joel Carillet collected $1,000 for his poignant story about human connection in Bangkok in “Red Lights and a Rose.” Cameron McPherson Smith won the silver award and $750 for “Ghost on Ice,” his powerful tale of braving the winter alone on Alaska's North Slope. Pamela Cordell Avis took the bronze and $500 for her story "Philomen and Baucis," a lovely and lyrical account of her move from Los Angeles to rural France. Read these stories on the Great Stories page.

More than 300 entries in 21 categories kept the judges busy. This year the work entered in the competition was superb, but as usual not every story that deserved an award received one. Here's the complete list of winners. Winning stories will be posted on and many will appear in future Travelers’ Tales books. Here’s a list of stories deserving honorable mention. Deadline for the Third Annual Solas Awards is September 21, 2008. The competition is year-round, however, so submit your stories any time.

Writers' Workshop Sailing off the Coast of Turkey
TT Executive Editor Larry Habegger will be leading a seven-day writers' workshop on the personal travel narrative aboard a traditional 82-foot gulet (a Turkish yacht) September 20-27, 2008. On this seven-day intensive workshop sailing on the Aegean Sea you’ll learn the ins and outs of crafting a superb story and how to bring your work to print, whether it’s a short essay or a book-length memoir. Larry will help you develop powerful stories with simple tools and plot the course to successful publication. For information about sailing along the ancient shores of Turkey with Larry, contact trip organizer Robin Sparks at A full description of the workshop and sailing journey is here and here.

Peace Corps Reform?
TT contributor Robert L. Strauss spent five years as the Peace Corps' country director for Cameroon. Now living in Madagascar, he has some things to say about today's Peace Corps in this opinion piece in the New York Times.

Stephanie E. Griest Wins Awards
TT's Stephanie Elizondo Griest, author of 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, is on a roll. She won runner-up honors for a Series in the 2007 North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Awards for her participation in "Women Traveling Alone" on World Hum. She also won the 2007 Richard J. Margolis Award as "an intrepid journalist who seamlessly weaves reportage and memoir." According to the announcement for Stephanie's award, "the Richard J. Margolis Award is given annually to a promising nonfiction writer whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. The award was established in honor of Richard J. Margolis, a journalist, essayist and poet who gave eloquent voice to the hardships of the rural poor, migrant farm workers, the elderly, Native Americans and others who are seldom heard. The 2007 award is accompanied by a $5,000 honorarium and a one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center (Blue Mountain, New York), the award's sponsor." Yay, Stephanie!

TT Wins NATJA Award
On the heels of winning a bronze Lowell Thomas award from the SATW Foundation, The Best Travel Writing 2007 edited by James O'Reilly, Larry Habegger, and Sean O'Reilly took runner-up honors for Best Travel Book in the 2007 North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Awards.

Editor Susan Fox Rogers and contributors to Antarctica: Life on the Ice appeared in a TeleWebcast in December as part of the Susan Fox Rogers book tour. Listeners put their questions about this fascinating, forbidden place to writer and editor Susan Fox Rogers, researcher Katy Jensen, former representative from the National Science Foundation Guy Guthridge, penguinologist David Ainley, and IT expert Karen Joyce who joined in LIVE FROM ANTARCTICA. To listen to the archive, click here

Antarctica on World Hum
The sinking of the cruise ship M.S. Explorer when it hit an ice floe in Antarctic waters Nov. 23 was all over the news. Susan Fox Rogers, editor of TT's Antarctica: Life on the Ice, got some ink of her own. See her interview and advice about other books on the frozen continent on World Hum.

TT Wins Lowell Thomas Awards
Two TT books won honors in the prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. 100 Places Every Woman Should Go by Stephanie Elizondo Griest took the Gold Award for Best Travel Book of the Year. The Best Travel Writing 2007 edited by James O'Reilly, Larry Habegger, and Sean O'Reilly took the Bronze in the same category. Read what the judges said about these two fine books.

Antarctica Comes to North America
Just out from TT: Antarctica: Life on the Ice reveals what it's like to live and work in the coldest, harshest climate on Earth. Read editor Susan Fox Rogers's Introduction, or a sample chapter, In This Dream by Joe Mastroianni.

These other TT books have been getting lots of attention in recent months. More Sand in My Bra is the hilarious sequel to the Jennifer Leo series of travel humor titles, this time coedited by Julia Weiler. 100 Places Every Woman Should Go by Stephanie Elizondo Griest describes the world's best places for women and includes practical information about getting there. Check out the web site dedicated to the book to tell us about your own favorite places: The Best Travel Writing 2007 is the fourth volume in our annual series of Best Travel Writing and, like its predecessors, is packed with powerful, evocative stories about travel and the world. The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007 is the third volume in this annual series dedicated to women's travel. Read the Introduction and the Preface to 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, and go to the web site dedicated to the book to tell us about your favorite places: Read the Introduction and Publisher's Preface to The Best Travel Writing 2007. Read Lucy McCauley's Introduction and a sample chapter in The Best Women's Travel Writing 2007.

Write a Story, Win $1,000!
Travelers' Tales has created the Solas Awards for Best Travel Story of the Year, a competition to celebrate great travel writing. Enter your stories to compete in 21 categories ranging from adventure to humor, from destination to memoir, and everything in between. The grand prize category has cash awards of $1,000, $750, and $500; all other category winners receive a certificate and a copy of the most recent edition of The Best Travel Writing or The Best Women's Travel Writing. Plus, winners may be published in Travelers' Tales books. Visit for details.

Podcast: Travelers' Tales and New Media
TT Publisher James O'Reilly and Executive Editor Larry Habegger discuss the impact of "new media" on travel publishing with Stephen Marra of ApplauseCast and travel writer and tech consultant Ken Matusow. The conversation ranges from TT's beginnings to the company's plans for the future. Listen in with this link, or click on the button at the end of this sentence that says "podomatic."

Get a Personal Travel Web Site from TT
TT has teamed up with My Trip Journal to offer you a place to share your travels. Here you can create an online trip journal for friends and family where you can post your itinerary, photos, and tales of your journey. See samples from other travelers, and check it out for your next trip. Go to Travelers' Tales Trip Journals.

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