Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.
I'm seeing Pico Iyer this Tuesday evening in conversation with Paul Ekman just down the street, and I'm so excited, I just can't wait.
Iyer's one of my favorite writers. I first caught a glimpse of his work some ten years ago in an old Utne Reader blurb, and ever since, I've had various of his quotations scrawled here and there in notebooks and taped haphazardly to walls from Edinburgh to Ocala. His themes - of wanderlust, globalization, identity, rootlessness, and travel, among so many others - resonate with me; I feel like his writing encapsulates so many of the nomadic and restless themes central to postmodern and queer theories without hitting you over the head with a lot of theoretical hand-waving.
Read Iyer's lovely and readable piece, "The Nowhere Man," published in the UK's Prospect Magazine 12 years ago already, before seeing him at the Herbst. The essay has appeared in slight variation by several names across various rags, but its soul remains the same: an exploration into the nature of cross-cultural identity, the ephemeral quality of "homelessness," the sociology of airport emotions, and what it means to be rootless or rooted in a contemporary age in which our most mundane aspects of daily life are often performed six miles above ground. I relish Iyer's eye for complexity and nuance, irony and perspective.