Sun After Dark: Flights Into the Foreign

by Pico Iyer

Paperback, 2005




Vintage (2005),


Pico Iyer – one of our most compelling and profoundly provocative travel writers – invites us to accompany him on an array of exotic explorations, from L.A. and Yemen to Haiti and Ethiopia, from a Bolivian prison to a hidden monastery in Tibet. He goes to Cambodia, where the main tourist attraction is a collection of skulls from the Khmer Rouge killing fields, and travels through southern Arabia in the weeks before September 11, 2001. He practices meditation with Leonard Cohen and discusses geopolitics with the Dalai Lama, travels to Easter Island and through the imaginative terrains of W. G. Sebald and Kazuo Ishiguro, weaving physical and psychological challenges together into a seamless narrative. Throughout his travels, the familiar thrill of adventure is haunted by the unsettling questions that arise for Iyer everywhere he goes: How do we reconcile suffering with the sunlight often found around it? How does the foreign instruct the traveler, precisely by discomfiting him? And how does travel take us more deeply into reality, both within us and without? Intensely affecting, Iyer’s explorations are a road map of thinking in new ways about our changing world.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member warmaiden
As a collection, mediocre. Some of the essays are captivating (such as the one on jet lag & the essay on Cambodia), others leave the reader flat and are little more than expositions where the author tries to prove his wit to the reader (like the one on the Dalai Lama). Enough good essays to offset the bad, resulting in the 3 star rating.… (more)
LibraryThing member danoomistmatiste
The author's wanderings through far flung lands often rent by great tragedy and poverty, Cambodia, Haiti, Bolivia, Tibet all in his signature style that is all his own.


Original language



Page: 0.4312 seconds