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In Tropical Classical the author of Video Nights in Katmandu and The Lady and the Monk visits a holy city in Ethiopia, where hooded worshippers practice a Christianity that has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages. He follows the bewilderingly complex route of Bombay's dabbawallahs, who each day ferry 100,000 different lunches to 100,000 different workers.
Iyer chats with the Dalai Lama and assesses the books of Salman Rushdie and Cormac McCarthy. And he brings his perceptive eye and unflappable wit to bear on the postmodern vogues for literary puffery, sexual gamesmanship, and frequent-flier miles. Glittering with aphorisms, overflowing with insight, and often hilarious, Tropical Classical represents some of Iyer's finest work.