World culture observer and author Pico Iyer will talk at Iowa State Sept. 16

AMES, Iowa -- Pico Iyer, one of the most respected observers of the changing world and author of nine books about cultures converging, will speak at Iowa State University on Thursday, Sept. 16. His talk, "Global Souls: Citizens in the Future Tense," will be at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The lecture is part of the World Affairs Series. It is free and open to the public.

Iyer's books include "Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East" (which appeared on several lists of the top travel books of the 20th century), "The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto," "Cuba and the Night" and "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home."

Iyer's most recent book, "The Open Road," describes 35 years of talks and travel with the Dalai Lama, a friend of his father's. Iyer describes the daily challenges of the global luminary. Among these are the many paradoxes in the Dalai Lama's life and message; for example, the contradiction between advancing awareness of Tibet's culture even as it is recreated as Chinese.

Iyer also writes literature reviews for The New York Review of Books, and articles on globalism for Harper's Magazine. He is a contributing editor to Salon, Time and Conde Nast Traveler.

Born in England to parents from India, Iyer was raised in California. He attended Eton and Oxford University, where he studied English. He earned a second master's degree in literature at Harvard University. Based in Japan, Iyer regularly travels to far-flung places such as North Korea, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Bhutan.

Iyer's lecture is cosponsored by the George Gund Fund, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Miller Lecture Funds, World Affairs Program, the Honors Program 50th anniversary celebration and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling (515) 294-9935.