Penguin Set To Release Pico Iyer’s New Book THE HALF KNOWN LIFE – In Search Of Paradise

After half a century of travel, from Ethiopia to Tibet, from Belfast to Jerusalem, Pico Iyer asks himself what kind of paradise can ever be found in a world of unceasing conflict. In a spectacular journey, both inward and outward, Iyer roams from crowded mosques in Iran to a film studio in North Korea, from a holy mountain in Japan to the sometimes spooky emptiness of the Australian outback.

At every stop, he makes connections with unexpected strangers – mystics and taxi drivers and fellow travellers – and draws on his own memories, of time spent in a Benedictine monastery high above the Pacific, of regular travels with the Dalai Lama, of hearing his late mother speak of sunlit moments in pre-Partition India.

By the end, he has upended many of our expectations and dared to suggest that we can find paradise right in the heart of our angry, confused and divided world.


Nothing less than a guided tour of the human soul. Filled with hope, wisdom, and extraordinary tenderness, this is a book not only for the ages, but for our very specific, very troubled age. A masterpiece. — Elizabeth Gilbert

To step into The Half Known Life feels both a privilege and a necessity… Iyer is more than a guide or a compatriot in an unfamiliar land: in the inward journey to lucidity he is a companion of our own searching minds. — Yiyun Li

In elegant and ecstatic prose, Pico Iyer uncovers our wonderful capacity for hope, wearing his erudition so lightly. I was revitalized by this book. — Katherine May

I defy anyone to read this profound travelogue and not immediately start reading it again. If there is a “paradise of words”, this is it. — John Keay

A wise, immaculately written achievement that could only be contemplated after a lifetime of travel and reading and pondering. Reading The Half Known Life is to yield to the most invigorating and thought-provoking meditation. — Nicholas Shakespeare

The official release date for the book is 9th January, 2023 confirmed the publicist for the book , Peter Modoli, General Manager, Penguin Random House


Pico Iyer is the author of six works of nonfiction and two novels. He has covered the Tibetan question for Time, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications for more than twenty years. He has been traveling in and around Tibetan communities and the Himalayas for more than thirty years.

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