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The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer

abstract:I've always been a fan of Graham Greene. He was a journalist turned novelist, an avid traveler who wrote about external and internal forms of conflict; during war or occupation; in matters of the heart; spiritual conflict. He appeals to the philosopher and psychologist in all of us. Pico Iyer's new book, The Man Within My Head (Random House, Feb 2012) is about his own close identification with Graham Greene life and work. This book make you see the deep connections we each have for the writers we admire.

You may know Pico Iyer through his prodigious 100 yearly articles appearing in Time, NYRB, Harper's, National Geographic, Financial Times and other fine publications. They demonstrate his shared breadth of interest in Green-esque topics—indeed Mr. Iyer wrote the introductions for Greene's Collected Stories, as well the introductions for authors: Michael Ondaatje, Somerset Maugham, Peter Matthiessen (Snow Leopard) and others. His own books deal with faith, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and travel: Sun after Dark: Flights into the Foreign, The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, & the Search for Home, Imagining Canada: An Outsider's Hope for a Global Future, The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto for starters. Of his current book Random House writes,

In The Man Within My Head, Pico Iyer sets out to unravel the mysterious closeness he has always felt with the English writer Graham Greene; he examines Greene’s obsessions, his elusiveness, his penchant for mystery. Iyer follows Greene’s trail from


February 05, 2012
— his first novel, The Man Within, to such later classics as The Quiet American and begins to unpack all he has in common with Greene: an English public school education, a lifelong restlessness and refusal to make a home anywhere, a fascination with the complications of faith. The deeper Iyer plunges into their haunted kinship, the more he begins to wonder whether the man within his head is not Greene but his own father, or perhaps some more shadowy aspect of himself.

The New York Times Book Review says, "The Man Within My Head demonstrates, there’s fellowship to be found in the community of eloquent strangers, an eternal literary companionship.”



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