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Around the World with the Dalai Lama

on April 7, 2009

Pico Iyer is a travel writer and journalist, and a decades-long friend of the 14th Dalai Lama. For over thirty years, Iyer has been visiting the Tibetan leader at his home in exile in India and following his travels around the world. Now he’s written about their friendship in Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. A glimpse into the personal life of one of the most mythologized figures alive, Iyer’s observations about his friend range from reverent and profound to wacky and kind of cute. “The Dalai Lama can rarely catch sight of a beard or a male ponytail without wanting to tug at it” is one of my favorite new items of Lama trivia.

On Wednesday, Iyer reads at the Oakland outpost of Diesel. Iyer, the son of an Indian philosopher who grew up in Oxford and California and now lives in rural Japan, writes regularly about his many, many travels for for magazines like Harper’s and The New Yorker.

The reading is free, starts at 7pm, and Diesel is at 5433 College Avenue.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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