Describe your latest book.
The Geography of Genius
is a book that defies easy categorization. It's travelogue, history, social science, biography, and humor book all rolled into one. I wouldn't call it a self-help book, though it contains plenty of help for interested selves. Ultimately, it's about the intersection of place and creativity.
I'm currently working on a book about practical philosophy, how ancient wisdom can help us navigate very modern problems. Of course, it also involves a journey, this time by train.
What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?
I once worked at an amusement park. It was a disaster, perhaps because I'm naturally grumpy and also prone to distraction. I once left a couple stranded on the top of the Ferris wheel when I took my lunch break. They were not amused.
If you were trapped in an elevator, what fictional character would you want with you?
. It would be like being trapped with my twin brother. We'd have lots to talk about.
Why do you write?
I write because it's the only way I know of unburdening myself. I think it was Salman Rushdie
who said he was a better person as a writer. I feel the same way. Plus, I possess no other marketable skills.
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start.
. Her collection of essays called Destinations
. The way she captures the essence of a city is pure genius.
How do you relax?
I don't relax.
If you could have been someone else, who would that be and why?
. Because he lived and traveled when the world was still raw and discoverable.
Five quirky books about India:
Chasing the Monsoon
by Alexander Frater
English, August: An Indian Story
by Upmanyu Chatterjee
Not a Nice Man to Know
by Kuwshwant Singh
One Night at the Call Center
by Chetan Bhagat
Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure
by Sarah Macdonald
÷ ÷ ÷
is author of the New York Times
bestseller The Geography of Bliss
, which has been translated into 20 languages, as well as the critically acclaimed Man Seeks God
. A former correspondent for NPR and The New York Times
, Weiner’s work has appeared in the New Republic
, Los Angeles Times
, The Washington Post
, Foreign Policy
, The New York Times Magazine
, and the anthology Best American Travel Writing