A Pair of Pico Iyer's Works Provide Perfect Autumn Armchair Travel

"Autumn Light" by Pico Iyer
Local author Maureen Millea Smith picks a couple of Pico Ayer travelogues for your fall reading list.

In 1983, 26-year-old Pico Iyer landed in Narita International Airport on an unwanted layover. The next morning, he took a free shuttle bus into the airport town. He writes of Narita, “Everything was silent, deserted, and the mildness of the late-October sky gave a sense of brightness and elegy to the day.” Walking through the wooden buildings and narrow streets of this ancient pilgrimage city he came upon a temple garden. There, surrounded by kindergartners in pink and blue caps, he realized that he had found his spiritual home. Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells explores the power and magic of this season in Japan, and in the author’s life, for nearly three decades. Autumn Light is a great companion read to Iyer’s earlier work, The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto. They are perfect choices for armchair travel in November.

Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.