Book: Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells
Author: Pico Iyer
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Pages: 248; Price: Rs 407
Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells takes you to the streets of Japan and into the lives of Hiriko, her children and Pico’s neighbours. Their past, future and the season of autumn all become one in this beautifully written memoir.
It talks about acceptance in time as life passes by with more to learn and how Pico does year after year among these people who are culturally apart, but so close him.
The book starts with Pico finding out his father-in-law is unwell, but by the time he lands in Japan for autumn the righteous man has left for his journey out of our realm to another. While Pico, who has been living in Japan for 32 years part-time, stays there watching his wife move on.
As she does we find his mind hovering to her brother who left family bonds behind decades ago, his wife’s daughter who he gains a connection with after so many years and the very interesting ping
pong club and their colourful members that Pico describes with so much dedication.
The book, however, leaves you unsure, as the chapters progress and the pages keep turning, it brings more questions, looking for answers that never come. And even after so many years have passed Pico still comes off as someone watching it all unravel from the outside instead as a part of their lives.