How does a global soul, a passionate traveler in love with the world and known for essays that explore foreign environs, make it sanely through a lengthy lockdown that has him confined to his house? This was the challenge facing Pico Iyer, who has reported from mostly Asian and Latin American locales for some 40 years, when the COVID-19 pandemic closed many borders and hobbled much of our wanderlust.

The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise, by Pico Iyer.240 pagesRIVERHEAD BOOKS, Nonfiction.

The enforced retreat made Iyer take stock and look back on his travels, which birthed a new collection of essays titled “The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise,” published earlier this month. A longing for the great abroad pervades the collection, but there is also an awareness of mortality, a search for peace in the world as well as the private mind.