Pico Iyer JourneysThe Outer World - Australia - A  A +

Rain in the Desert

“You’ve got to remember we’re on an island here,” my old friend Nicolas was saying, as unseasonal rains crashed down on Alice Springs, the worst downpour in nine years, and great chocolate-brown currents clogged the usually dry river-bed of the •••


Into the Shadowed Heart

The Red Highway begins with a spare, haunting account of the Czech artist Karel Kupka clambering out of a plane and (as the book’s first sentence has it) stepping “for the first time into the elusive world of Arnhem Land.” •••


On the Edge of the Wild

At night, every night, electrical storms broke across the bay, the mangrove trees in front of my little motel shaking in the wind, the clouds above the ocean lit up every few seconds by long, silent blasts of Turner-esque light, •••


The Emptiest Part of Emptiness

This is what an English country town might look like, you think, after it had been emptied out by a nuclear disaster, and airlifted down upon a dry and semi-tropical Californian landscape. The buildings are one or two storeys high, •••