Two of the world's most respected travel writers discuss pilgrimages to exceptional places, mining one's personal history, and the holiest mountain on earth.
British-born Colin Thubron has spent his working life writing and traveling in the vast land mass of Asia. His earliest books were on Damascus, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Cyprus. In the eighties he traveled by car through the Soviet Union for Where Nights Are Longest and through China for Behind the Wall. His later travel books include The Lost Heart of Asia, on the republics of Central Asia; In Siberia; and Shadow of the Silk Road, the account of a journey from eastern China to the Mediterranean. He has published seven novels including A Cruel Madness and Turning Back the Sun. His many awards include the Lawrence of Arabia Memorial Medal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
Born in England, to Indian parents, Pico Iyer grew up in Southern California. He is the author of seven works of non-fiction, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul. He has also written the novels Cuba and the Night and Abandon. Iyer has been an essayist for Time magazine, while also writing for The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The New York Times and National Geographic. His most recent book, The Open Road, describing more than 30 years of talking and traveling with the Fourteenth Dalai Lama was a best-seller across the U.S. Iyer has been based for the past 20 years near Nara, in rural Japan, though he is always on the road.