Pico Iyer’s Fascination with Graham Greene

Studio 360
The World

Graham Greene wrote more than two dozen novels between the 1920s and the 1980s – downbeat bestsellers set in sketchy places. Many of which were made into movies, including the The Third Man, The Quiet American, and Our Man In Havana.
For 25 years, the writer Pico Iyer has felt an almost mystical connection to Greene, whom he never met. He chronicles that obsession in The Man Within My Head. An avid traveler, Iyer first felt a kinship in his twenties, when he was visiting places like Cuba and Bolivia. “It was like being in a very lonely place and suddenly realizing I had a companion,” Iyer remembers. Born in England to Indian parents, Iyer’s family moved to California in the 1960s. He tells Kurt Andersen that he’s always lived his life as a foreigner, a trait he shares with the writer. “Greene never seemed comfortable in any category,” Iyer explains. “I share that sense of not wanting to inhabit any category.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.